MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Miami 7 Baltimore 3
St. Louis 4 Cleveland 2
Texas 5 Arizona 4
Colorado 12 LA Angels 3
San Diego 7 Oakland 4
Toronto at Boston postponed
NY Yankees 4 Tampa Bay 3
Chicago White Sox 5 Kansas City 3
Detroit 6 Minnesota 5 (11)
Houston 8 Seattle 6
Washington 6 Philadelphia 4
Milwaukee 9 Pittsburgh 0
Atlanta 12 NY Mets 5
Cincinnati 7 Chicago Cubs 4
San Francisco 2 LA Dodgers 1
TUESDAY’S BOX SCORES: http://hosted.stats.com/mlb/scoreboard.asp
MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
St. Paul 16 Indianapolis 1
Fort Wayne 3 Lansing 1
Quad Cities 4 South Bend 2
COLTS TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE
7/28 | Camp Kickoff – Colts City: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Practice: 10:00 – 11:30 AM
7/29 | Youth Sports Day – Colts City: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Practice: 10:00 – 11:30 AM
7/30 | Out Of Office Day – Colts City: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Practice: 10:00 – 11:45 AM
7/31 | Kid’s Day, presented by Riley Children’s Health – Colts City: 12:00 – 4:00 PM | Practice: 1:00 – 2:30 PM
8/2 | Back to School Day – Colts City: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Practice: 10:00 – 11:30 AM
8/3 | Sunrise Fitness, presented by Planet Fitness – Colts City: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Practice: 10:00 – 11:45 AM
8/4 | Community Day – Colts City: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Practice: 10:00 – 11:45 AM
8/6 | Colts City: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Practice: 10:00 – 11:30 AM
8/7 | Hall of Fame Day, powered by Kerauno – Colts City: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Practice: 10:00 – 11:30 AM
8/8 | Bike to Camp Day, presented by Meijer – Colts City: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Practice: 10:00 – 11:45 AM
8/10 | Colts City: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Practice: 10:00 – 11:45 AM
8/11 | Armed Forces Day – Colts City: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Practice: 10:00 – 11:20 AM
8/12 | Thirsty Thursday, presented by Bud Light – Colts City: 3:00 – 7:00 PM | Practice: 4:00 – 6:00 PM
8/13 | Fan Appreciation Day, presented by CenterPoint Energy – Colts City: 3:00 – 7:00 PM | Practice: 4:00 – 6:00 PM
8/17 | Frontline Worker Day – Colts City: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Practice: 10:00 – 11:30 AM
8/18 | Grandparents Day – Colts City: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Practice: 10:00 – 11:30 AM
8/19 | Mom and Tots Day Out – Colts City: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Practice: 10:00 – 11:30 AM
8/23 | Colts City: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Practice: 10:00 – 11:30 AM
8/24 | Colts City: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Practice: 10:00 – 11:45 AM
NBA Draft Order: Round 1
2. Houston Rockets
3. Cleveland Cavaliers
4. Toronto Raptors
5. Orlando Magic
6. Oklahoma City Thunder
7. Golden State Warriors (from Minnesota)
8. Orlando Magic (from Chicago)
9. Sacramento Kings
10. New Orleans Pelicans
11. Charlotte Hornets
12. San Antonio Spurs
13. Indiana Pacers
14. Golden State Warriors
15. Washington Wizards
16. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Boston)
17. Memphis Grizzlies
18. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Miami via the LA Clippers, Philadelphia, and Phoenix)
19. New York Knicks
20. Atlanta Hawks
21. New York Knicks (from Dallas)
22. Los Angeles Lakers
23. Houston Rockets (from Portland)
24. Houston Rockets (from Milwaukee)
25. Los Angeles Clippers
26. Denver Nuggets
27. Brooklyn Nets
28. Philadelphia 76ers
29. Phoenix Suns
30. Utah Jazz
NBA Draft Order: Round 2
31. Milwaukee Bucks (from Houston)
32. New York Knicks (from Detroit via the LA Clippers and Philadelphia)
33. Orlando Magic
34. Oklahoma City Thunder
35. New Orleans Pelicans (from Cleveland via Atlanta)
36. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Minnesota via Golden State)
37. Detroit Pistons (from Toronto via Brooklyn)
38. Chicago Bulls (from New Orleans)**
39. Sacramento Kings
40. New Orleans Pelicans (from Chicago)**
41. San Antonio Spurs
42. Detroit Pistons (from Charlotte via New York)
43. New Orleans Pelicans (from Washington via Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Utah)
44. Brooklyn Nets (from Indiana)
45. Boston Celtics
46. Toronto Raptors (from Memphis via Sacramento)
47. Toronto Raptors (from Golden State via Utah and New Orleans)
48. Atlanta Hawks (from Miami via Sacramento and Portland)
49. Brooklyn Nets (from Atlanta)
50. Philadelphia 76ers (from New York)
51. Memphis Grizzlies (from Portland via Dallas, Detroit, and Cleveland)
52. Detroit Pistons (from Los Angeles Lakers via Sacramento, Houston, and Detroit)
53. New Orleans Pelicans (from Dallas)
54. Indiana Pacers (from Milwaukee via Houston and Cleveland)
55. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Denver via Golden State and Philadelphia)
56. Charlotte Hornets (from LA Clippers)
57. Charlotte Hornets (from Brooklyn)
58. New York Knicks (from Philadelphia)
59. Brooklyn Nets (from Phoenix)
60. Indiana Pacers (from Utah)
Big 12’s Texas, Oklahoma make request to join powerhouse SEC
(AP) — Texas and Oklahoma made a request Tuesday to join the powerhouse Southeastern Conference, with SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey saying the league would consider it in the “near future.”
A day after the Big 12 schools notified the league that they would not be extending an agreement that binds conference members to 2025, the schools publicly stated for the first time they want to join the SEC.
Oklahoma and Texas sent a joint letter to Sankey, requesting “invitations for membership to the Southeastern Conference starting on July 1, 2025.”
“We believe that there would be mutual benefit to the universities on the one hand, and the SEC on the other hand, for the universities to become members of the SEC. We look forward to the prospect of discussions regarding this matter,” the schools said in a letter signed by each university’s president.
Oklahoma and Texas are bound to the Big 12 and its eight other members through the 2024-25 school year by a grant of media rights that runs concurrent with the conference’s billion-dollar television deals with ESPN and Fox.
“The events of recent days have verified that the two schools have been contemplating and planning for the transition for months and this formal application is the culmination of those processes,” Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement.
Joining another conference before the grant of rights expires would cost the schools tens of millions of dollars per year in relinquished revenue and possibly exit penalties.
Competing in the conference as a lame duck for four more seasons doesn’t benefit the schools and isn’t ideal for the Big 12, either. If the conference is going to survive, it needs to begin rebuilding soon to show stability heading into negotiations for its next television contract.
Meanwhile, the SEC is poised to grow to 16 teams with the additions of Texas and Oklahoma, half of which have won at least one national championship in football since 1980.
The SEC’s most recent television contract with ESPN, set to take effect in 2024, is expected to increase revenue distribution to its member schools to about $67 million per year.
The Big 12 was approaching distributions of $40 million per school before the pandemic led to distributions dropping to $34.5 million per school this year.
The news broke last week at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Alabama, that Texas and Oklahoma, the Big 12’s flagships universities, had been discussing a possible move with Southeastern Conference officials. The Houston Chronicle was first to report the intended jump, but neither the schools nor the SEC would publicly confirm the parties had been in discussions.
“While the SEC has not proactively sought new members, we will pursue significant change when there is a clear consensus among our members that such actions will further enrich the experiences of our student-athletes and lead to greater academic and athletic achievement across our campuses,” Sankey said.
SEC bylaws state at least three-fourth of its members (11 of 14) must vote in favor of extending an invitation for membership.
Texas A&M joined the conference in 2011 along with Missouri in the SEC’s most recent expansion. A&M initially voiced concerns about allowing an in-state rival to join the conference, but athletic director Ross Bjork has since suggested his school would not shy away from added competition.
The boards of regents at Texas and Oklahoma each announced Tuesday that meetings would be convened Friday with conference affiliation on both the agendas.
The Big 12 was created from a merger of sorts between the Big Eight and Southwestern Conference in 1994 and began play in 1996. Texas and Oklahoma are the conference’s most notable brands. They have the richest and most successful athletic departments, and they are the only Big 12 schools to win national college football championships.
“We are unwavering in the belief that the Big 12 provides an outstanding platform for its members’ athletic and academic success,” Bowlsby said. “We will face the challenges head-on, and have confidence that the Big 12 will continue to be a vibrant and successful entity in the near term and into the foreseeable future.”
Rodgers arrives in Green Bay for start of training camp
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Aaron Rodgers has made it to Green Bay on the eve of the Packers’ first training-camp workout.
Rodgers was seen arriving at Lambeau Field on Tuesday morning, the day after NFL Network and ESPN reported the reigning MVP was closing in on a deal that would keep him with the Packers this season. The Packers later tweeted a photo of Rodgers at Lambeau Field – wearing oversize sunglasses and a novelty T-shirt referencing “The Office.”
The Packers open training camp Wednesday. Under terms of the collective bargaining agreement, Rodgers would have been subject to a $50,000 fine for every day he held out during camp.
Rodgers didn’t participate in organized team activities this spring – a change from his usual offseason routine – and skipped the Packers’ mandatory minicamp.
His future with the Packers had seemed tenuous after ESPN reported in the hours leading up to the draft that he didn’t want to return to Green Bay. Rodgers has spent his entire career with the Packers, who selected him with the 24th overall pick in the 2005 draft.
When the NFL’s only publicly owned team held its shareholders meeting Monday, Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy said he was hopeful the two sides could resolve their differences and added that they’d been “in constant communication.”
“We want him back,” Murphy told the 3,900 shareholders who gathered at Lambeau Field. “We’re committed to him for 2021 and beyond. He’s our leader. We’re looking forward to winning another Super Bowl with him.”
NFL Network reported Monday that Rodgers had told people close to him he planned to play for the Packers this season. ESPN reported that Rodgers and the Packers were on the verge of a deal in which the team would void the final year of the three-time MVP’s contract, perhaps clearing the way for him to leave Green Bay after the upcoming season.
The return of Rodgers would make the Packers legitimate Super Bowl contenders once again after they lost in the NFC championship game each of the last two seasons.
Rodgers, 37, threw for a league-high 48 touchdown passes with only five interceptions last season while helping the Packers lead the league in scoring. He also led the NFL in passer rating and completion percentage.
Dolphins CB Howard reports to camp but wants to be traded
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) Miami Dolphins All-Pro cornerback Xavien Howard reported for the start of training camp to avoid being fined, and then said he doesn’t feel valued or respected by the team and has requested a trade.
Howard skipped mandatory minicamp in June and is unhappy with the $75.25 million, five-year extension he signed two years ago. He decided not to sit out training camp, but posted a statement on social media Tuesday night saying he wants to play elsewhere.
“I’m not happy, and have requested a trade,” Howard’s statement said. “Until that trade happens I am just here so I don’t get fined, and will handle myself like professionals do.”
Last year, Howard had 10 interceptions, the most in the NFL since 2007. He also led the league with 20 passes defended.
But Miami’s other starting cornerback, Byron Jones?, has a bigger contract – an $82.5 million, five-year deal reached last year.
“I signed an extension that I’ll admit I didn’t completely understand or feel comfortable with,” Howard said. “Everyone knows I’ve significantly outperformed that deal. I’m one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. … Yet, I’m the second highest paid cornerback on my own team, and it’s not even close.”
Howard said he hasn’t asked for a completely new contract, but has made salary cap-friendly proposals such as more guaranteed money.
“The Dolphins refused everything we proposed,” Howard said. “I don’t think the organization has dealt with me in good faith.”
Coach Brian Flores declined to talk about any negotiations or trade possibilities regarding Howard.
“Those conversations, like always, are going to be internal and confidential,” Flores said hours before Howard’s statement was posted. “But we’re excited to have him. I’m excited to work with him. He’s a great player.”
The dispute creates a major issue for Flores at the start of his third season in Miami. The Dolphins doubled their win total to 10 last year but missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.
Flores said all 90 players on the roster reported for conditioning tests at the Dolphins’ new $135 million training camp next to their stadium. The first practice is Wednesday.
Flores declined to say how many of his players have received the COVID-19 vaccine, and said he will not pressure unvaccinated players.
“Everyone has their own personal reasoning and beliefs behind getting vaccinated or not,” he said. “I respect everyone’s choice in that matter. I’m not going to pressure anyone. I’m just going to give them the information. I’m not going to judge anyone’s commitment to the team.”
Player representative Christian Wilkins echoed that sentiment.
“It’s up to every guy what they want to do,” said Wilkins, a defensive tackle. “You’ve got to respect people’s opinions to do things or not do things.”
While the Dolphins had perfect attendance on reporting day, receiver Preston Williams remains slowed by a foot injury that forced him to miss the final eight games of 2020. He’ll begin camp on the physically unable to perform list and spend a lot of time in the new state-of-the-art training room.
Report: Washington, Thomas agree to 3-year extension
The Washington Football Team has reached an agreement on a three-year extension with tight end Logan Thomas, sources told NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
The deal is worth roughly $24 million, including $10.3 million in guarantees, a source told Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post.
Thomas, 29, transitioned to tight end after entering the league as a quarterback. He tallied 72 receptions for 670 yards and six touchdowns in 2020.
The Virginia Tech product previously spent time with the Detroit Lions, Buffalo Bills, New York Giants, and Miami Dolphins after being drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 2014.
Washington also extended defensive tackle Jonathan Allen for four years and $72 million Monday.
INDIANA FOOTBALL: Bedford on Outland Trophy Watch List
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana junior offensive lineman Matthew Bedford was named to the watch list for the Outland Trophy, the Football Writers Association of America announced on Tuesday morning. The list recognizes 80 returning standout interior linemen representing all 10 Division I FBS conferences and independents. The 2021 season continues a celebration of the award’s 75th anniversary and the watch list presents a talented field of players to accompany three returning FWAA All-Americans.
The recipient of the 2021 Outland Trophy will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards, live on ESPN in December. The official presentation to the winner will be made at the Outland Trophy Awards Dinner sponsored by Werner Enterprises and produced by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee in Omaha, Neb., on Jan. 12, 2022.
Bedford started all seven games in which he appeared at right tackle in 2020. IU led the Big Ten (T-17th nationally) in fewest sacks allowed per game (1.25), and the Hoosiers finished fourth in the conference in scoring (28.9), fifth in passing offense (250.9), and fifth in time of possession (31:15).
The Cordova, Tenn., was Indiana’s 2019 Offensive Newcomer of the Year after he started eight times and played in nine overall at left tackle. IU matched a school record with nine 30-point games and set a program mark with 3,931 passing yards.
The Outland Trophy winner is chosen from three finalists who are a part of the annual FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects a 26-man first team and eventually the three Outland finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner. Only interior linemen on offense or defense are eligible for the award; ends are not eligible.
The Outland Trophy, celebrating 75 years since its founding, is the third-oldest major college football award. Created in 1946 when Dr. John Outland presented the FWAA with a financial contribution to initiate the award, the Outland Trophy has been given to the best interior lineman in college football ever since. Dr. Outland, an All-American at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1890s, eventually took up practice in Kansas City, Mo. An avid outdoorsman, Dr. Outland believed linemen did not get the credit they deserved and wanted an award to recognize them.
The Outland Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org and @NCFAA on Twitter to learn more about the association.
The members of the NCFAA are unveiling preseason watch lists over a 10-day period this month. Sixteen of the association’s 25 awards are presenting their preseason watch list during this time as the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates. Following is the remaining 2021 preseason watch list calendar:
Wed., July 28: Lou Groza Award/Ray Guy Award
Thu., July 29: Hornung Award/Wuerffel Trophy
Fri., July 30: Maxwell Award
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of 1,300 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at email@example.com.
Indiana Football 2021 Preseason Watch Lists
Dodd Trophy – Tom Allen
Maxwell Award – Ty Fryfogle, Michael Penix Jr.
Bednarik Award – Micah McFadden, Tiawan Mullen
Davey O’Brien Award – Michael Penix Jr.
Doak Walker Award – Stephen Carr
B1G Preseason Honors – Michael Penix Jr.
Biletnikoff Award – Ty Fryfogle
John Mackey Award – Peyton Hendershot
Jim Thorpe Award – Tiawan Mullen
Butkus Award – Micah McFadden
Outland Trophy – Matthew Bedford
INDIANA FOOTBALL: McFadden, Mullen Selected to Nagurski Trophy Watch List
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana senior linebacker Micah McFadden and junior cornerback Tiawan Mullen have been selected to Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List, the Football Writers Association of America announced on Tuesday morning. This marks the third watch list appearance for both McFadden (Bednarik, Butkus) and Mullen (Bednarik, Thorpe).
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be chosen from those five finalists and honored at the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet presented by LendingTree on Dec. 6 at the Charlotte Convention Center. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association’s full membership, selects a 26-man All-America Team and eventually the Nagurski Trophy finalists. Committee members, by individual ballot, select the winner they regard as the best defensive player in college football.
All three returning FWAA first-team All-Americans leading off the list are in the secondary – Mullen, cornerback Ahmad Gardner of Cincinnati, and Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton.
Clemson has four players on the team and Georgia, Iowa State, Ohio State, and Oklahoma are next as teams with three players each. Indiana, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Cincinnati, LSU, Missouri, Notre Dame, San Diego State, TCU, Troy, USC, and Washington have two apiece.
McFadden collected second-team All-America honors from Phil Steele and third-team accolades from the Associated Press in 2020. A first-team All-Big Ten honoree (coaches, media), McFadden was named IU’s Anthony Thompson Most Valuable Player along with quarterback Michael Penix Jr.
He led the team with 58 tackles, 44 solos, six sacks (31 yards), and 10.5 for loss (39 yards), while he shared second with three quarterback hurries, and finished fourth with two interceptions. McFadden topped the Big Ten in sacks, the first Hoosier to do so since Greg Middleton (2007), tied for second in solo stops, shared third in TFLs, and tied for eighth in INTs.
After the Hoosiers win at No. 16 Wisconsin, he carded Walter Camp National Player of the Week and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week laurels. A team captain, McFadden recorded a game-high nine tackles with a pair of sacks in the program’s first victory in Madison since 2001.
Mullen became the first cornerback in program history to earn first-team All-America honors (FWAA, Phil Steele) one year ago. He was just the second cornerback (Tim Wilbur, 1980 second-teamer) in school history to achieve All-America status and was the first Hoosier since offensive lineman Dan Feeney (2015, 2016) to claim first-team recognition.
Upon the conclusion of the regular season, Mullen became the program’s first cornerback to card first-team All-Big Ten honors since Tracy Porter (2007). He is the team’s active leader with eight career takeaways (3 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries).
The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native was named IU’s 2020 Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year after he made 38 tackles, 27 solo, with 3.5 sacks (32 yards), 4.5 for loss (33 yards), three interceptions, one forced fumble, four pass breakups, and one quarterback hurry in eight games.
Mullen led all Big Ten defensive backs in sacks (T-12th overall) and TFLs, and shared sixth overall in INTs. He finished tied for first on the team in forced fumbles, second in sacks, third in solos stops, tackles for loss and picks, tied for third in PBUs, and fourth in total stops.
Players may be added or removed from the watch list during the course of the season. As in previous years, the FWAA will announce a National Defensive Player of the Week each Tuesday this season. If not already on the watch list, each week’s honored player will be added at that time. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2021 Bronko Nagurski Trophy.
This year’s watch list includes at least four players from all 10 FBS conferences plus five from the independent schools. The SEC led the conference list with 20 with the Big Ten (13) and Big 12 (12) just behind, making up half of the list. The Pac-12 (9) was fourth, followed by the ACC (8), Conference USA, Independents, Mountain West and Sun Belt (5 each) and the American Athletic and Mid-American had four apiece. The list includes 29 linebackers, 22 backs, 22 ends and 17 tackles.
The FWAA has chosen a National Defensive Player of the Year since 1993. In 1995, the FWAA named the award in honor of the legendary two-way player from the University of Minnesota. Nagurski dominated college football, then became a star for professional football’s Chicago Bears in the 1930s. Bronislaw “Bronko” Nagurski is a charter member of both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org and @NCFAA on Twitter to learn more about the association.
BUTLER FOOTBALL: Butler Football 2021 Schedule Includes Five Home Games
INDIANAPOLIS – The 2021 Butler football team will play a full 11-game schedule this fall featuring three non-conference opponents before opening up the PFL schedule at St. Thomas on Sept. 25. The 2021 season opener will fall on Saturday, Sept. 4 when the Bulldogs travel to Normal, Ill. to play the Illinois State Redbirds.
A night game will signal the start of the 2021 campaign with Illinois State hosting Butler at 7:30 PM EST. Bulldog fans will enjoy a late kick-off in the home opener as well with BU hosting DePauw on Sept. 11. The 6 PM start at the Bud and Jackie Sellick Bowl will come against head coach Jeff Voris‘ alma mater.
The final non-conference opponent to appear on the schedule is another in-state opponent in Taylor. Butler only has one home game in the mix over the first four weeks of the season. They will play at Taylor on Sept. 18 and then open the conference season playing at St. Thomas on Sept. 25. The Tommies are new to the Pioneer Football League in 2021. Their inaugural season as a Division I program gets started on Sept. 4 at O’Shaughnessy Stadium.
The 2021 PFL home opener will bring Drake to Indianapolis for the annual Battle of the Bulldogs game. BU will host Drake on Oct. 2 and remain on campus the following weekend to play San Diego on Oct. 9.
Three of the final five games of the season will be played on the road for Butler. The ‘Dawgs will play at Morehead State on Oct. 16 before hosting pre-season favorite Davidson on Oct. 23. The month of October will close with Butler playing at Dayton the day before Halloween.
Senior Day will land on Nov. 13 this year with Butler playing Valparaiso for the Hoosier Helmet at 12 PM. The regular season will come to a close on Nov. 20 with another noon start. Butler will head to Poughkeepsie, N.Y. to play Marist in the finale.
The upcoming 2021 season marks the 29th year for the Pioneer Football League – the nation’s only non-scholarship, football-only NCAA Football Championship Subdivision conference. The league will feature 11 teams each playing an eight-game schedule to determine the league champion and recipient of the automatic bid to the NCAA FCS Championship.
2021 Butler Football Schedule
Sept. 4 at Illinois State – 7:30 PM
Sept. 11 vs. DePauw – 6 PM
Sept. 18 at Taylor – 7 PM
Sept. 25 at St. Thomas* – 1 PM
Oct. 2 vs. Drake* – 12 PM
Oct. 9 vs. San Diego* – 12 PM
Oct. 16 at Morehead State* – 3 PM
Oct. 23 vs. Davidson* – 1 PM
Oct. 30 at Dayton* – 1 PM
Nov. 13 vs. Valparaiso* – 12 PM
Nov. 20 at Marist* – 12 PM
All times are Eastern and subject to change
BALL STATE FOOTBALL: Brandon Martin Selected To 2021 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List
MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State football team continues to be recognized on national football award watch lists, as redshirt senior Brandon Martin (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) has been tabbed to the 2021 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List. The award is presented annually to the top defensive player in college football.
The 2021 watch list features 90 defensive standouts from 61 schools in all 10 Division I FBS conferences plus independents and includes seven returning players from last season’s FWAA All-America team.
In 2020, Martin became the first BSU player named Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year since punter Brad Maynard in 1996 and the Cardinals’ first traditional defensive player to win the award since linebacker Greg Garnica did it three straight years from 1987-89.
Martin, an All-MAC First Team selection, started all eight games at inside linebacker after missing all but one game the previous season to an injury. He led the MAC with 90 total tackles and ranked eighth nationally with 11.3 tackles per game. He ranked second on the BSU team with 6.5 tackles for loss, including a sack in the win at Central Michigan (12/5/20).
Over the course of last season, Martin reached double-digit tackles in six of BSU’s eight games. He tallied a career-high 15 stops in the win over Eastern Michigan (11/11/20) on his way to MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week honors. Martin registered 14 tackles, including 2.0 for loss, in the MAC West championship-clinching win over Western Michigan (12/12/21) and 13 in the MAC Championship Game victory over No. 23 Buffalo (12/18/21).
Martin’s success did not go unnoticed as he was nominated for the Wuerffel Trophy for community service and named to the watch list for the Mayo Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Martin contributed to the Cardinals’ historic season in which Ball State finished 2020 with a 7-1 (5-1 MAC) record. BSU won its last seven games, claiming the MAC Championship over No. 23 Buffalo and the Arizona Bowl over No. 19 San Jose State on its way to a year-end national ranking of No. 23 in both the AP and coaches polls.
The Cardinals are looking to “run it back” as the favorite to win the MAC West Division and the Rocket Mortgage MAC Football Championship Game again in 2021 in the league’s annual preseason media poll.
The 2021 Ball State football season is set to begin Thursday, Sept. 2, with a 7 p.m. kickoff versus Western Illinois at Scheumann Stadium. Season tickets, six-ticket flex plans, and single-game tickets are available now. Season ticket and flex plan holders enjoy the best available prices on Cardinals tickets along with additional benefits, including primary access to away games and postseason events. Fans can also purchase tickets via phone at 888.BSU.TICKET.
BALL STATE FOOTBALL: Curtis Blackwell Earns Spot On 2021 Outland Trophy Watch List
MUNCIE, Ind. -Fifth year senior Curtis Blackwell (Uniondale, Ind./Norwell High School) has earned a spot on the 2021 Outland Trophy Watch List making him the third Cardinal in a matter of days to become an early candidate for a national college football award.
The Outland Trophy, awarded since 1946, is presented to the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman on offense or defense. Ends are not eligible.
An All-MAC Second Team selection, Blackwell started all eight games at right tackle for Ball State’s Mid-American Conference Championship and Arizona Bowl-winning team. He made the move from right guard prior to the start of the 2020 season. Blackwell blocked for a Cardinals team that ranked 25th nationally in scoring offense (34.2) and 27th in total offense (447.2). He helped the Cardinals feature a balanced attack with 269.2 passing yards and 178.0 rushing yards per game.
Blackwell has also found success in the classroom earning back-to-back MAC Distinguished Scholar Athlete honors in both 2019 and 2020.
Entering this season, Blackwell has an active streak of 30 consecutive starts which are the most of any offensive player on the Ball State roster.
With Blackwell’s help, the Cardinals finished 2020 with a 7-1 (5-1 MAC) record. BSU won its last seven games, claiming the MAC Championship over No. 23 Buffalo and the Arizona Bowl over No. 19 San Jose State on its way to a year-end national ranking of No. 23 in both the AP and coaches polls.
The Cardinals are looking to “run it back” as the favorite to win the MAC West Division and the Rocket Mortgage MAC Football Championship Game again in 2021 in the league’s annual preseason media poll.
The 2021 Ball State football season is set to begin Thursday, Sept. 2, with a 7 p.m. kickoff versus Western Illinois at Scheumann Stadium. Season tickets, six-ticket flex plans, and single-game tickets are available now. Season ticket and flex plan holders enjoy the best available prices on Cardinals tickets along with additional benefits, including primary access to away games and postseason events. Fans can also purchase tickets via phone at 888.BSU.TICKET.
NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL: HAMILTON, TAGOVAILOA-AMOSA NAMED TO NAGURSKI TROPHY WATCH LIST
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Notre Dame junior safety Kyle Hamilton and graduate student defensive lineman Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa have been named to the Nagurski Trophy watch list, an award which recognizes the national defensive player of the year.
Tabbed to the 2021 Walter Camp Preseason All-America First Team, the Bednarik Award watch list and the Thorpe Award watch list, Hamilton was recognized as a FWAA first-team All-American in 2020, as well as a second-team Walter Camp, AFCA and Associated Press honoree in 2020.
Also named to the 2021 Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List, Hamilton enters his true junior season known as one of the top safeties on the college gridiron. The 2020 Bednarik Award semifinalist and first-team All-ACC selection led the Irish in tackles last season with 63 in just 11 games, adding an interception, six pass breakups and 4.5 TFL.
Tagovailoa-Amosa, a 2021 nominee to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, earned All-ACC Second Team honors in 2020, after a season in which he totaled 17 tackles, 6.0 TFL (loss of 21 yards) and 2.5 sacks. He was named to the Phil Steele Preseason All-Independent First Team in 2020, and was a Piesman Trophy Finalist in 2019.
NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL: PATTERSON, MADDEN SELECTED TO OUTLAND TROPHY WATCH LIST
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Notre Dame offensive linemen junior Jarrett Patterson and graduate student Cain Madden have earned selection to the Outland Trophy Watch List. The award recognizes the nation’s outstanding interior lineman.
Patterson, a member of both the Outland and Rimington Trophy Watch Lists in both 2020 and 2021, earned an honorable mention All-America nod from Phil Steele in 2020 after only being able to play in eight games last season due to an injury. Patterson’s performance in those eight games was impressive, and he finished 2020 with 21-career starts under his belt, while being named to the Associated Press All-Conference Second Team and by the conference to the All-ACC Third Team.
Patterson was a member of the 2020 offensive line that was a finalist for the Joe Moore Award, honoring the best offensive line unit in college football. The line paved the way in 2020 for running back Kyren Williams’ 1000+ rushing yard season, and helped the Irish win the time of possession battle in 11-of-12 games in 2020.
Madden, a graduate transfer from Marshall, was a 2020 Walter Camp Second Team All-American and an AP Second Team All-American. He started 9-of-10 games for the Thundering Herd in 2020. Madden and the offensive line paved the way for Marshall to outrush their opponents in 7-of-10 games and outpass opponents in six. The Herd also won time of possession in six games in 2020. In addition to his 2020 All-America honors, Madden was named first-team All-Conference USA.
INDIANA STATE FOOTBALL: Indiana State Football Picked 10th; Four Sycamores Earn Preseason All-MVFC Honors
ST. LOUIS – Indiana State football has been picked to finish 10th in the Missouri Valley Football Conference 2021 Preseason Poll, the League office announced prior to Tuesday’s Virtual Media Day. Four Sycamores were named Honorable Mention All-MVFC, including Isaiah Edwards (OL), Dante Hendrix (WR), Inoke Moala (DL) and Michael Thomas (DB). The League’s preseason poll and honors are voted on by head coaches, sports information personnel and members of the media.
South Dakota State earned 24 first-place votes and was voted as the MVFC favorite following their National Championship runner-up finish last spring. North Dakota State picked up 18 first-place votes was picked to finish second ahead of North Dakota, Southern Illinois and Northern Iowa.
Isaiah Edwards – Synopsis
2019 – Medical Redshirt … Made three starts on the offensive line before an injury cut his season short. 2018 – Earned Honorable Mention All-MVFC … Named to the MVFC All-Newcomer Team … Started every game in 2018 at left guard … Helped the Sycamores to 241.5 rushing yards per game to rank 14th in the country … ISU finished with 2,656 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns this season after a 2017 season when ISU ran the ball for just 1,185 yards and seven rushing scores … Key in the passing game as the Sycamores threw for 2,559 yards and 18 touchdowns … The Sycamores finished the regular season seventh nationally, converting 42-of-46 (91.3 percent) chances in the red zone … Four different Sycamores (Keys, McCoy, Boyle, Kerlegrand) rushed for 100 or more yards this season.
Dante Hendrix – Synopsis
2019 – Earned MVFC Commissioner’s Academic Excellence Award as well as MVFC Academic Honor Roll accolades … Earned MVFC Second Team All-Academic honors … Named First Team All-MVFC at wide receiver … Started all 12 games for the Sycamores … Led the team and ranked third in the MVFC with 653 receiving yards … Ranks fifth in the League with 51 receptions … Recorded 50 or more yards through the air in five games … Recorded a season high 135 yards at No. 5 Northern Iowa … Had a career long 70-yard reception int he finale at Missouri State … Caught touchdowns against Dayton and Illinois State … Had a season long 70-yard punt return touchdown at Missouri State (11/23).
Inoke Moala – Synopsis
2019 – Earned MVFC Academic Honor Roll accolades … Played in all 12 games while starting 11 on the defensive line … Finished the year with 31 tackles including 14 solo stops … Accounted for 12.5 tackles-for-loss for 44 yards which ranked second on the team … Recorded 3.5 sacks for 22 yards … Credited with six pass breakups and four quarterback hurries … Forced two fumbles while recovering a two fumbles … Recovered two fumbles, including one in the endzone to score a touchdown in the season opener against Kansas (8/31) …Had a season high eight tackles in a win over Eastern Kentucky (9/14) … Credited with 3.5 tackles-for-loss against Western Illinois (10/12).
Michael Thomas – Synopsis
2019 – Earned MVFC Commissioner’s Academic Excellence Award as well as MVFC Academic Honor Roll accolades … Started all 12 games … Made the transition from wide receiver to safety … Was third on the team with 73 tackles, including 39 solo stops … Recorded eight or more tackles in five games … Ranked 11th in tackles during Missouri Valley Football Conference play with 58 stops … Forced three fumbles on the year with back-to-back forced fumbles against Illinois State and South Dakota State … Had two interceptions with the first coming against Western Illinois and the second against Youngstown State … Recorded 2.5 tackles-for-loss and one sack.
2021 Preseason Poll
Team (First-Place) … Points
1. South Dakota State (24) … 454
2. North Dakota State (18) … 435
3. North Dakota … 357
4. Southern Illinois … 345
5. UNI (1) … 311
6. Missouri State … 256
7. Illinois State … 196
8. South Dakota … 163
9. Youngstown State … 126
10. Indiana State … 112
11. Western Illinois … 83
VALPO FOOTBALL: Pioneer Football League Releases Fall 2021 Preseason Poll
After finishing tied for second in the Pioneer Football League standings and posting the program’s best winning percentage since 2003 during the Spring 2021 campaign, the Valparaiso University football team carries significant momentum into the Fall 2021 season.
Valpo was picked to finish sixth of 11 in the PFL Preseason Coaches’ Poll, which was released by the league office on Tuesday.
The Brown & Gold were picked ahead of Morehead State, St. Thomas, Marist, Stetson and Butler in the preseason projection. Defending champion Davidson hauled in eight of the 11 first-place votes and was picked to win the league, edging out perennial powerhouse San Diego.
The league will feature 11 teams competing in an eight-game PFL schedule to determine the league champion and the recipient of an automatic bid into the NCAA FCS Playoffs. The Valpo season will get underway on Saturday, Sept. 4 with a visit to Indiana Wesleyan. The home slate kicks off on Saturday, Sept. 18 vs. Dartmouth before PFL play begins on Sept. 25 at Drake.
The Preseason All-PFL Team will be announced on Wednesday.
Pioneer Football League
2021 Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. Davidson (8) 97
2. San Diego (3) 93
3. Drake 67
4. Dayton 62
5. Presbyterian 59
6. Valparaiso 55
7. Morehead State 51
8. St. Thomas 36
9. Marist 35
11. Butler 15
– First-place votes in parentheses.
– 10 points awarded for a first-place vote, with one point less for each succeeding place. (Maximum score = 100)
– Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.
NOTRE DAME BASKETBALL: IRISH WILL START DEFENSE OF 2017 MAUI TITLE AGAINST ST. MARY’S
The University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team will face St. Mary’s in the first round of the 2021 Maui Jim Maui Invitational on Monday, November 22, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. in Maui (11:30 p.m. ET) on ESPN2.
The Irish are returning to the Maui Invitational for the first time since the 2017-18 season when they claimed the program’s first Maui title defeating Chaminade, LSU and Wichita State. This season’s Maui lineup includes the Irish and Gaels, Texas A&M, Wisconsin, Butler, Houston, Oregon and Chaminade.
Notre Dame will be taking part in its fourth Maui Invitational – 1993 (1-2), 2008 (2-1) and 2017 (4-0) – and boast a 7-3 record in the event. In 2017, the tournament included a mainland contest against Mount St. Mary’s. Those games are not included in this year’s event.
Notre Dame and St. Mary’s will be meeting for the third time and it will be the first matchup since 1981 when the Gaels visited Purcell Pavilion (a 94-63 Irish victory). The series dates back to 1949, however, when Notre Dame made its first trip to the West Coast to face St. Mary’s at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. The trip was a homecoming for Irish legend Kevin O’Shea, who led the Irish to a 70-66 victory over St. Mary’s and their All-American Frankie Kudelka.
The winner of the Notre Dame – St. Mary’s contest will face the winner of Oregon – Chaminade November 23, 2021, at 3 p.m. (8 p.m. ET).
INDIANA STATE VOLLEYBALL: Sycamore Volleyball Announces 2021 Schedule
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State women’s volleyball has announced the 2021 schedule which includes a total of 28 matches, 14 of which will be held at the ISU Arena.
The 2021 campaign will begin with back-to-back road tournaments, the first of which will be hosted by the College of Charleston in Charleston, S.C., on Aug. 27-28. The Trees will open the weekend with a match against Kennesaw State before finishing with Eastern Michigan and host College of Charleston on Saturday.
On Sept. 3-4, the Sycamores will compete in an invitational hosted by both Middle Tennessee State and Belmont. Indiana State will open with Alcorn State in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on Sept. 3 before heading to Nashville the following day for a contest with Belmont.
The Sycamore Invitational returns to the schedule from Sept. 9-11 in Terre Haute, Ind., when the host Sycamores will hold contests with IUPUI, Western Michigan and Austin Peay before ending the nonconference with a home-and-home series against Eastern Illinois.
Missouri Valley Conference play is slated to begin on Sept. 24 at home against in-state rival Evansville and the conference format will return to the traditional 18-match home-and-home format during the fall. The MVC Tournament is scheduled for Nov. 25-27 in Normal, Ill.
Indiana State will be looking for back-to-back appearances in the MVC Tournament for the first time since 2003-04 after qualifying last season with a record of 7-13, including a 7-11 conference record.
Votto hits 2 more homers as Reds roll past Cubs 7-4
CHICAGO (AP) Joey Votto continued his power surge with two home runs and started a dazzling double play Tuesday night as the Cincinnati Reds pulled away to a 7-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
Votto has homered in a career-high four consecutive games for the second time (April 2018), one game shy of the team record. Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez also connected as the Reds won for the third time in five games.
Cincinnati rookie Vladimir Gutierrez (5-3) pitched 6 1/3 innings of five-hit ball to earn the win.
Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Patrick Wisdom went deep for the Cubs, who have lost six of 10.
Cubs starter Adbert Alzolay (4-11) allowed three home runs in five innings, increasing his National League lead to 23. Left-handed hitters have 19 homers off Alzolay, who has served up 14 long balls in his last eight starts.
It was Votto’s 14th career multi-homer game and first since June 29, 2017, against Milwaukee. The six-time All-Star and 2010 NL MVP has hit safely in his last five games (8 for 19) and reached base safely in 21 straight for the second-longest active streak in the majors. DJ LeMahieu of the Yankees has a 36-game on-base streak.
“I think it’s more of like, it’s about time,” Votto said. “I expect to play like this.”
Trailing 4-2 in the third, the Cubs mounted a rally before Votto ran from his first base position and reached across the tarp down the right field line to catch a foul pop by Willson Contreras, then turned and threw quickly to home plate, where catcher Tyler Stephenson tagged Rafael Ortega for the final out of the inning.
“I had to throw a strike,” Votto said. “I did not want to bounce the ball.”
After the double play, Gutierrez retired 10 of the next 12 batters before Ian Happ hit a bloop double and Wisdom drew a pinch-hit walk with one out in the seventh.
Alzolay allowed a season-high seven hits in five innings, including an RBI single by Kyle Farmer in the second.
Rizzo tied the game for the Cubs with a two-run homer in the first, marking the first time he has homered in three consecutive games since May 2019.
After Rizzo’s homer, the Cubs didn’t score again until the ninth, when Wisdom and Bryant homered off reliever Edgar Garcia. Wisdom’s 15 home runs lead NL rookies.
Bryant acknowledged the scrutiny of potentially being traded by Friday’s deadline has taken its toll on him.
“Some of this stuff is just exhausting,” said Bryant, who can become a free agent after this season. “I’m doing my best to keep my focus where it needs to be and help whoever I can here along the way. Take everything in stride. Whatever happens, it’s out of my control.”
Bryant said he would not rule out returning to the Cubs in the offseason if he’s traded by Friday.
“I’m always going to listen,” Bryant said. “Chicago is a special place to me.”
Winkler hit his 21st homer in the first off Alzolay, and Suarez hit reliever Dan Winkler’s first pitch of the sixth for a home run.
Farmer had three of the Reds’ 11 hits, including a single that sparked a two-run ninth.
Wainwright wins in 1st game at Cleveland, Cards top Indians
CLEVELAND (AP) Adam Wainwright won in his first appearance at Progressive Field, Paul DeJong hit a go-ahead homer and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Cleveland Indians 4-2 Tuesday night.
DeJong’s two-out, two-run drive in the seventh inning off Bryan Shaw (3-5) put St. Louis in front 3-2. Harrison Bader also homered, doubled twice and stole a base as the Cardinals moved back over .500 at 51-50.
“Shaw has been around the league for a while, so I know what he has,” DeJong said. “I just tried to simplify things and was hoping the ball would go out.”
Wainwright (8-6) went seven innings and earned his 175th career victory, extending his franchise record to 33 stadiums pitched in during the regular season. Seattle reliever Joe Smith is the active leader with 37.
The 39-year-old Wainwright gave up four hits, including a two-run homer to Jose Ramirez. He struck out eight and walked two.
“I walked down to the batting tunnel instead of the bullpen because I’ve never pitched here before,” Wainwright said, chuckling. “I do remember the clubhouse, I think, but Cleveland is not somewhere we’ve been to a lot in my career.”
St. Louis tacked on an insurance run in the ninth when reliever Phil Maton walked Dylan Carlson with the bases loaded. Alex Reyes picked up his 24th save in 25 opportunities.
Bader has multiple hits in six of the last eight games and is batting .384 (28 for 73) since returning from a fractured rib on July 1.
“Harrison took a bunch of real good at-bats tonight,” Wainwright said. “And that was a huge home run by Paul against a really great reliever.”
Cal Quantrill matched his season high with six innings for the Indians, allowing four hits, including Bader’s homer. The right-hander exited with a 2-1 lead and has not lost in nine starts since June 6.
Ramirez put Cleveland ahead 2-1 in the fourth with his 21st homer. The Indians have lost 16 of 23 to sink into seventh place in the AL wild-card race, possibly making them a seller heading into the trade deadline Friday.
“I’m concerned because of the games we’ve lost, but it’s our job to come back out and go get wins,” Ramirez said.
Wainwright and 10-time All-Star Yadier Molina made their 293rd start as battery-mates, which ranks fourth all-time. Molina went 0 for 4 after a three-game absence with a stiff neck.
“Adam was tremendous again,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “He made pitches when he needed to.”
Indians manager Terry Francona returned to the dugout after missing the previous two games with a head cold. Francona is six wins away from tying Hall of Famer Lou Boudreau’s franchise record of 728 victories.
Bellinger’s blunder in 8th helps Giants top Dodgers 2-1
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Buster Posey scored the tiebreaking run on a throwing error by first baseman Cody Bellinger in the eighth inning, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 on Tuesday night.
Blake Treinen (2-5) walked Posey and Mike Yastrzemski to begin the eighth. Darin Ruf hit a grounder to second baseman Max Muncy, who began to chase Yastrzemski back toward first before throwing Ruf out.
Bellinger, making his first start of the season at first base in order to rest his sore hamstring, then pump-faked toward second before launching a throw well over third baseman Justin Turner’s head and into the protective netting along the third base line as the crowd of 32,878 roared.
Posey, who was on his way to third, scored easily.
The Giants (63-37) increased their NL West lead to three games over the rival Dodgers.
Posey had two hits and an RBI. Austin Slater also had two hits for San Francisco.
Bellinger singled and scored for the defending World Series champion Dodgers. Muncy was 1 for 4 in his first game back off the paternity list.
Tyler Rogers (2-1) retired three batters to get the win. Jake McGee pitched the ninth for his 21st save.
The series at Oracle Park comes one week after the Giants won three of four in Los Angeles, including a pair of ninth-inning comebacks against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen.
After Bellinger bounced a leadoff single to right off starter Logan Webb leading off the fifth, Bill McKinney lined a ball into right-center to drive in Bellinger but was thrown out trying for second.
Posey’s RBI single in the sixth tied it.
Riley’s slam, 6 RBIs power Braves to 12-5 rout of Mets
EW YORK (AP) Austin Riley hit a grand slam and a two-run homer to set a career high with six RBIs, powering the Atlanta Braves to a 12-5 rout of the New York Mets on Tuesday night.
Ozzie Albies and Abraham Almonte also had two-run homers for the Braves, who have won two of three in a five-game series as they chase the first-place Mets in the NL East. Atlanta split Monday’s doubleheader despite allowing just one run in two games.
“Three previous games we’ve given up three runs and were 1-2,” manager Brian Snitker said. “So it was nice to come out and score some runs.”
Dansby Swanson delivered a two-run double in the first inning to get Atlanta started.
Charlie Morton (10-3) earned the win after allowing three runs and five hits with five strikeouts over five innings.
Jeff McNeil and Brandon Drury each hit a two-run homer for the Mets after they trailed 10-1 in the fourth.
Riley’s fourth-inning slam bounced off advertising signage near the left field foul pole and into a small seating overhang. His sixth-inning homer glanced off signage a few dozen feet to the right of his first round-tripper.
Riley has four homers in the last five games to increase his season total to a career-high 19, one more than he had as a rookie in 2018.
“The power’s unbelievable,” Snitker said of the 24-year-old Riley. “He’s still figuring things out. He’s learning. Getting all these at-bats are just going to do him well. He’s a young hitter. Still a lot of upside in this guy.”
The two-homer game was the third of the season and career for Riley, who had two homers May 21 against Pittsburgh and went deep twice again – this time with five RBIs – against the Pirates two days later.
Riley also continued a strong defensive series at third base in the third inning, when he saved a run by snaring a hard-hit grounder by McNeil and throwing to second to force Brandon Nimmo. During the Braves’ 2-0 win in the first game of Monday’s doubleheader, Riley grabbed a high chopper off the bat of Pete Alonso to begin a fifth-inning double play.
“The name of the game is just being consistent on both sides of the line,” Riley said. “It’s great to make good plays for your pitches. I know they love it.”
Every starter for the Braves had at least one hit except catcher Stephen Vogt.
Jiménez hits 3-run HR, rallies White Sox past Royals 5-3
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Eloy Jimenez logged his first big hit of the season, launching a go-ahead, three-run homer in the eighth inning that sent the Chicago White Sox over the Kansas City Royals 5-3 Tuesday night.
The 24-year-old slugger, who was the 2019 AL Rookie of the Year and then kept up his power surge during the pandemic-shortened season, tore a pectoral muscle in spring training. He hadn’t played in the majors until going 0 for 4 Monday night.
But Jimenez quickly made up for lost time in his second game. After hitting a single in his first at-bat, he came up in the eighth after a two-out intentional walk to Jose Abreu with Chicago trailing 3-2.
Jimenez connected for a 459-foot drive to left-center off Kyle Zimmer (4-1) to cap a four-run rally.
“I was thinking they were going to walk Jose because they didn’t think I was ready,” Jimenez said. “But I was ready for that.”
Jimenez, known more for his bat than mitt, started in left field.
“First of all, Eloy was the defensive star of the game,” Chicago manager Tony La Russa said. “That was Gold Glove stuff out there. But if I’m (Royals manager) Mike (Matheny), I make the same move. (Eloy) hadn’t taken serious at bats in four or five months.
“But that’s a legitimate home run,” he said.
The White Sox increased their AL Central lead to 9 1/2 games. They’ve been winning all season despite a lack of power – they began the game next-to-last in the AL with 106 homers, three more than the Royals.
Yoan Moncada had an RBI grounder in the eighth that got Chicago within 3-2.
The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for Kansas City.
Reynaldo Lopez (1-0) picked up the win in relief. Liam Hendriks earned his 25th save.
The Royals wasted a stellar effort by Brad Keller, who allowed one run on four hits over seven innings. He pitched on his birthday for the first time in his professional career as he turned 26.
“It’s baseball,” Keller said of the bullpen’s failure. “It’s just how the game rolls. Our bullpen has been nails all year. It’s going to happen. It’s a tough loss; no one wants to see that. Those guys have been nasty all season.”
It was Keller’s fourth straight quality start after throwing only three in his first 17 starts.
Chicago starter Dylan Cease also had a quality start, giving up two earned runs and six hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out six.
White Sox right fielder Andrew Vaughn dropped a line drive, helping the Royals score twice in the second.
Gavin Sheets hit solo homer in the fourth, giving the White Sox rookie six home runs in 63 major league at-bats.
Bauer’s administrative leave extended through Aug 6
NEW YORK (AP) Trevor Bauer’s administrative leave was extended by 10 days through Aug. 6 on Tuesday by Major League Baseball and the players’ association while the sport’s investigators check into allegations of sexual misconduct against the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher.
Bauer was placed on seven days’ paid leave on July 2 under the joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy adopted by MLB and the players’ union in 2015. MLB and the union have agreed to three extensions.
Police in Pasadena, California, and MLB are investigating the allegations made against Bauer by a Southern California woman who says the pitcher choked her to the point where she lost consciousness and punched her during two sexual encounters this year. The woman obtained a protection order against Bauer under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act.
According to the woman’s declaration attached to the request for the protection order, she suffered injuries as a result of the second encounter, including two black eyes, a bloodied swollen lip, significant bruising and scratching to one side of her face.
The pitcher’s agents, Jon Fetterolf and Rachel Luba, have disputed the allegations and Fetterolf said in a statement that the pair’s brief relationship was “wholly consensual.” The statement said Bauer has messages from the woman asking for the kind of “rough” sexual interactions they had.
Attorneys for Bauer and for the woman said during a court session last week they intend to call several witnesses, including Bauer, and argue over the order in a hearing that’s expected to last three days.
Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman of Los Angeles County Superior Court delayed the beginning of that hearing until Aug. 2.
Bauer agreed to a $102 million, three-year contract to join his hometown Dodgers earlier this year after winning his first Cy Young Award with the Cincinnati Reds last season. Bauer is 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA in 17 starts this season.
Nationals’ Strasburg to have season-ending neck surgery
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Stephen Strasburg will have season-ending neck surgery, Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Tuesday, ending another frustrating year for Washington’s 2019 World Series hero.
The three-time All-Star right-hander felt discomfort after a 27-pitch bullpen session last week and saw a specialist on Monday. Strasburg, who is 1-2 with a 4.57 ERA in five starts this season, was diagnosed with neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome and will be operated on by Dr. Greg Pearl in Dallas on Wednesday, Martinez said.
“He’s down, he’s frustrated,” Martinez said. “Hopefully after this procedure is done, it’s the next hurdle, recovering and then starting to rehab as soon as he possibly can.”
Injuries have limited Strasburg to seven starts since he was named MVP of Washington’s World Series win over Houston two years ago. He last pitched on June 1.
Martinez said he expects Strasburg to be ready for the start of spring training next year.
“I know what kind of workhorse he is when healthy,” Martinez said.
Yanks send relievers Cessa, Wilson to Reds for PTBNL
NEW YORK (AP) The New York Yankees traded relievers Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson to the Cincinnati Reds late Tuesday night for a player to be named.
The move could signal the Yankees are pursuing a big addition to their bullpen and were looking to create room.
The deal was announced hours after New York won 4-3 at Tampa Bay, and Cincinnati finished off a 7-4 road victory over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.
The Yankees also made a bullpen move Monday, acquiring reliever Clay Holmes from the Pittsburgh Pirates for minor league infielders Hoy Park and Diego Castillo.
The 29-year-old Cessa went 3-1 with a 2.82 ERA in 29 relief appearances for the Yankees this season.
Wilson, 33, was 1-1 with a 7.50 ERA in 21 outings. The left-hander missed a combined 34 games during two stints on the injured list with left shoulder inflammation (March 29 to April 9) and a strained right hamstring (May 29 to June 30). He signed a one-year contract in February with a player option for 2022.
New York is nine games behind AL East-leading Boston and seven back of the second-place Rays, but much closer in the hunt for the second AL wild card.
Cincinnati is in second place in the NL Central, seven games behind Milwaukee, and also is chasing San Diego for the second NL wild card.
Report: Rays have had preliminary talks about Scherzer, Bryant
The Tampa Bay Rays could make another big splash before the July 30 trade deadline.
After acquiring designated hitter Nelson Cruz from the Minnesota Twins, the Rays have had preliminary discussions with the Washington Nationals about three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer and the Chicago Cubs about 2016 National League MVP Kris Bryant, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
The defending American League champions aren’t known for acquiring high-priced players, but they could include more talented prospects from their deep farm system if a trade partner eats some salary, Passan notes.
However, Scherzer’s contractual situation will be tricky to navigate for both the Nationals and any team that acquires him.
The right-hander is in the final season of a seven-year, $210-million contract, though he’s not actually being paid a salary this campaign. The last three years of Scherzer’s deal – worth $105 million – are deferred, and he’s set to make $15 million annually from 2022 to 2028.
Scherzer, who turned 37 years old on Tuesday, is reportedly open to being traded before Friday’s deadline. He appears to be most interested in playing for a West Coast team and has the ability to veto any trade due to his 10-and-5 rights.
Teams interested in acquiring Scherzer believe the Nationals could agree to a deal within the next 48 hours to help work through his no-trade clause, reports The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.
Bryant, meanwhile, is making $19.5 million this season and will also hit free agency when the campaign concludes. He’s been involved in various trade rumors throughout the past two seasons.
Chicago already traded outfielder Joc Pederson and reliever Andrew Chafin in the past two weeks, and it’s expected to continue making deals.
Scherzer is 7-4 with a 2.83 ERA and 142 strikeouts in 105 innings for the Nationals this season. Over the course of his 14-year career, the eight-time All-Star is 182-97 with a 3.19 ERA and 2,926 strikeouts in 2,462 1/3 innings.
Bryant, a four-time All-Star, is hitting .269/.356/.500 with 17 home runs, 19 doubles, and 50 RBIs in 91 games. He’s also a versatile defender, playing third base, first base, and all three outfield positions this year.
Astros, Mariners pull off odd trade while facing one another
SEATTLE (AP) The Houston Astros have landed one of the top relievers in baseball, acquiring right-hander Kendall Graveman from the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday in an odd intra-division trade while the teams were preparing to play each other.
Graveman and Rafael Montero are going to the AL West-leading Astros with infielder Abraham Toro and reliever Joe Smith going back to Seattle.
A teary Graveman said he was shocked by the trade, and had assumed he would be sticking with the Mariners, who’d won four straight against divisional opponents in gritty fashion.
“I didn’t see it coming, but there’s always that percent of, `This game’s a business,'” Graveman said as he stood in front of the Astros dugout. “I’m speaking truth and honest, the way I felt is, (we’re) nine games over .500 over on that side and playing pretty good ball while I was there. That takes away from the last five days, honestly, I think. But we’ll see if they bounce back.”
The move bolsters a Houston bullpen that has struggled at times and has an ERA above 4.00 this season.
“We are always looking to improve all aspects of the roster,” Astros general manager James Click said. “This one happens to be focused on the bullpen. But we’re not going to take any options off the table when it comes to trying to put ourselves in a position to compete for a World Series.”
Graveman is 4-0 with a 0.82 ERA and 10 saves in 30 appearances this year. He missed nearly a month due to COVID-19 protocols in May and June, but has been dominant on the mound. Graveman has not allowed an earned run in his past 12 appearances.
On the surface it appears a baffling decision by Seattle to give up its most dominant reliever while failing to fill a position of need with the Mariners just one game behind Oakland in the AL wild-card race – the Astros lead the A’s by five games.
Graveman said his former teammates took news of the trade hard and there was immediate confusion among players, fans and observers about Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto’s move.
The first question to Dipoto in his post-trade news conference: How does this trade make sense to the Mariners?
“It probably doesn’t as a standalone, but it’s part of a context that’s going to be an ongoing story over the next couple of days” as the trade deadline nears, Dipoto said.
“What comes next could be as early as tonight or tomorrow because we do plan on being active,” he added.
Houston manager Dusty Baker said for now he views Ryan Pressly as his closer, but wouldn’t hesitate turning to Graveman.
“In modern times it seems like most teams are trading to try to win the deal, but this is a trade that is going to benefit both,” Baker said.
Montero was designated for assignment by the Mariners last week after being acquired in the offseason from Texas. Smith has a career-worst 7.48 ERA in 27 games for the Astros after not pitching during the 2020 season.
Toro learned of the trade in the middle of his round in the batting cage.
“And I just walked right over here,” Toro said.
He then stepped into the batting cage to resume his warmups with a new uniform top.
Toro is in his third season and has played primarily third base, where the Mariners have veteran Kyle Seager entrenched. Toro has also played first base and has one game at second base this season, a position where the Mariners could be looking to upgrade before the trade deadline.
Toro is hitting .211 with six homers and 20 RBIs in 35 games this season.
“They’re hungry – yesterday we all saw it,” Toro said of Seattle’s 11-8, come-from-behind win over the Astros on Monday. “They were losing 7-0 and came back. These guys are hungry.”
INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS: Saints Bury Indians In Series Opener
ST. PAUL, MINN. – The St. Paul Saints scored eight runs on six hits in the bottom of the first inning to bury the Indianapolis Indians on Tuesday night and take the series opener 16-1.
Indians (34-37) starting pitcher, Steven Wright was chased from the game before recording an out after giving up five runs on three hits, one of those being a home run from major league rehabber Rob Refsnyder. Joe Jacques entered the game and gave up three runs before finishing the inning with back-to-back ground outs.
The Saints (38-34) scored five more runs in the bottom of the second to extend their lead to 13-0.
Hunter Owen homered over the left field fence in the top of the eighth inning to score the lone run for Indy while St. Paul scored three more insurance runs in the bottom half of the inning to seal the lead at 16-1.
Wright (L, 4-5) took the loss on the mound for the Indians. Matt Eckelman, Blake Weiman and Shea Spitzbarth threw three combined scoreless innings for Indy. Chandler Shepherd (W, 5-4) earned the win throwing seven shut out innings for the Saints.
The two teams will face off again tomorrow night in a 8:05 PM ET start. RHP Beau Sulser (5-3, 3.29) will take the mound against LHP Charlie Barnes (5-3, 4.02).
Japan beats US 2-0, turns incredible DP to win softball gold
YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) They marched single file onto the podium near shortstop with the blank expressions of the condemned.
When silver medals were handed out, they dangled them around each other’s necks like weights.
Eyes were red and damp. Perfunctory waves for the cameras were managed. Hands fidgeted with bouquets of sunflowers.
Stunned, yes. Heartbroken, yes. Most precisely: devastated.
“It stings,” Cat Osterman would say more than two hours later. “I’ve never been on a team that had so much fight.”
Just not enough.
Japan won its second straight Olympic softball gold medal, beating the United States 2-0 Tuesday night behind 39-year-old Yukiko Ueno in an emotional repeat of the 2008 victory in Beijing.
For Osterman and Monica Abbott, it was just like 4,723 days earlier.
Only worse. This likely was their final moment on their sport’s grandest stage, which the International Olympic Committee has snatched away until at least 2028.
“I challenge the IOC to instate softball as a women’s sport into the Olympic docket on a regular basis,” said Abbott, who pitched a night before her 36th birthday. “It’s been proven that we attract viewers, we’re active on social media. It’s a worldwide sport. It’s played really well in multiple continents and areas of the world, and I think it’s really difficult when you’re in an Olympics and then out of an Olympics, you’re in one and you’re out of one, to continue to build that momentum and engagement for this sport to grow worldwide.”
Ueno took a one-hitter into the sixth inning, five days after her 39th birthday, and Japan snuffed out an American rally attempt with an acrobatic sixth-inning double play that will long be replayed.
Japan led 2-0 when Michelle Moultrie singled leading off the sixth, and hard-throwing 20-year-old left-hander Miu Goto relieved.
Goto dealt Haylie McCleney, the top American hitter at .529, her first strikeout of the Olympics with a 69 mph pitch at the hands, then allowed a single to Janie Reed.
Amanda Chidester lined a rocket to third that seemed likely to drive in a run and leave two on. The ball smacked the left wrist of third baseman Yu Yamamoto and ricocheted to perfectly positioned shortstop Mana Atsumi. She stuck out her glove for a backhand spear, then made a Derek Jeter-like jump throw to second baseman Yuka Ichiguchi to double up Moultrie.
There have been other 5-6-4 double plays – St. Louis’ Nolan Arenado started one five nights earlier. But off the wrist?
“It hits you in the gut,” Osterman said. “If that goes through, we probably tie the game, maybe even go up with just the amount of momentum we would have on that alone.”
On a night of a half-dozen web gems, Reed made a leaping catch at the left-field wall to rob Yamato Fujita of a two-run homer in the bottom half.
With Goto overthrowing and her pitches flattening, Japan coach Reika Utsugi had Ueno (2-0) re-enter for the seventh, and she retired Valerie Arioto on a flyout, Ali Aguilar on a groundout and Delaney Spaulding on a foulout to the catcher, setting off a celebration on the field surrounded by 34,046 mostly empty seats in Yokohama Stadium.
“In your home country, you want to put the pitching legend back on the mound to finish the game for you,” U.S. coach Ken Eriksen said. “And I thought it was a class act.”
Atsumi, the No. 9 batter, had a run-scoring infield hit in the fourth inning and Fujita lined an RBI single off Abbott in the fifth.
Ueno improved to 9-1 in her Olympic career, allowing two hits, striking out five and walking two.
“The coolest thing about her is is that she constantly reinvents herself and attacks hitters in different ways,” Osterman said. “It just proves that the peak age for softball players is not 22. So I think in some ways, I kind of think she’s a softball god. Things always go her way.”
Ueno had pitched a five-hitter to win the 2008 gold medal game.
“I try not to waste energy and I want to be efficient and I want to control the hitters,” Ueno said through a translator. “Having strikeouts is not the only solution.”
Reed tripled off the glove of Eri Yamada and the center-field wall with one out in the first. That was the closest the U.S. came to scoring.
Abbott and the 38-year-old Osterman were the last holdovers from the U.S. team that lost to Japan 3-1 in 2008, when Osterman gave up the first two runs and Abbott the last. The U.S. remained stuck at three softball golds after victories of 1996, 2000 and 2004.
Ueno allowed two hits, struck out five and walked two in six innings while combining with Goto on a three-hitter.
Osterman, who came out of retirement with the goal of adding a gold medal to the one she earned in 2004, allowed two hits in two scoreless innings. With six straight right-handed hitters due up in the third, Eriksen replaced the left-hander with 28-year-old right-hander Ally Carda (0-1).
Fujita lined a single off the diving attempt of Aguilar at second leading off the fourth inning, was sacrificed to second and took third on a comebacker.
Ichiguchi walked, and Eriksen went to the mound with Atsumi coming up. Carda stayed in, and and Atsumi hit a slow two-hopper to second and slid in ahead of Aguilar’s throw as Fujita scored the first earned run against the Americans in this Olympics.
“The only thing that I would maybe second-guess,” Eriksen said, “would be the fact that I could have brought Monica in a batter early on the ground ball that was hit, but then again, it was a topped ground ball. … It wasn’t like it was smokin’ Ally.”
Yamamoto singled with two outs in the fifth, and Abbott came in and threw a wild pitch, then allowed Fujita to line a single into right for a 2-0 lead.
American batters sputtered as they did throughout the Olympics, totaling just nine runs while hitting .216 with four extra-base hits and a .590 OPS. That lack of offense was the reason they watched 15 smiling and bowing Japanese players clutch their gleaming gold medals, gazing at the prizes and holding them up in pride. Japan’s flag was raised on the center pole and “Kimigayo,” the Japanese national anthem, was played.
“It was bad luck,” Eriksen said. “Tonight just was not our night.”
They thought back to the year delay caused by the pandemic, of not having a team staff from January to June in 2020.
“I’m proud of the tournament that we put on,” Abbott said, “and the involvement, engagement and the drama and the excitement that USA softball was able to show to the world on the Olympic stage.”
US women win 50th straight Olympic game, beat Nigeria 81-72
SAITAMA, Japan (AP) The U.S. women won, as usual. It just wasn’t in the dominant fashion that the Americans are accustomed to.
The winning streak for the world’s top-ranked team is now 50 games and counting in Olympic competition. A’ja Wilson scored 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in her debut as the Americans beat Nigeria 81-72 on Tuesday in the opener for both teams.
It was the first time that a team had come within single digits of the U.S. since a four-point win over Russia in the semifinals of 2004 Athens Games.
Sue Bird has been a part of the past five Olympics and wasn’t too concerned by the final margin.
“You’re talking about some of the greatest Olympic teams of all-time,” she said of the previous ones that won by double-digits. “I don’t know how many teams would beat that Rio team, the London team or the Beijing team. This team is still figuring it out. We’ll get there.”
The U.S. came to Tokyo coming off two rare exhibition losses in Las Vegas earlier this month. The Americans also beat Nigeria by 31 points in that game.
Diana Taurasi, who was playing in her first game in nearly a month after suffering a hip injury, has competed in the last 33 of those victories to set a record for most games in the Olympics. She showed no ill-effects from the injury that sidelined her for the team’s three exhibition games in Las Vegas two weeks ago.
“It was a nice to get out there and compete a little bit with the group,” said Taurasi, who injured her hip in early July. “Yeah, I felt pretty good hopefully it keeps getting better day by day. As a group I think we did some good things today, some things we have to work on. I think overall it was a pretty good match by us.”
With a roster full of former U.S. college players, Nigeria wasn’t intimidated by the Americans. The African country jumped out to an 8-1 lead as the U.S. missed its first four shots and committed four turnovers. The Nigerians were up 20-17 after one quarter and extended the lead to 25-20 before the U.S. took over.
The Americans scored 23 straight points, the first four by Wilson – one of six newcomers on the U.S. roster.
“It felt good to get in the flow of things out there,” Wilson said. “I was definitely nervous, but then had that moment when I was like I’m supposed to be here.”
Breanna Stewart scored seven points during the game-changing burst. The U.S. led 44-32 at the half as Nigeria regrouped to score seven of the final eight points of the second quarter.
The U.S. extended the lead to 70-50 at the end of the third quarter on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Jewell Loyd. The Americans led 75-55 before Nigeria scored 12 straight points to cut it to eight with 3:19 left.
That’s as close as they would get,
Ezinne Kalu scored 16 to lead Nigeria.
“It’s a mix of disappointment but also encouragement for us because we wanted some rhythm, and I think we got it toward the end,” said Nigeria’s Adaora Elonu. “So if we can carry it on for the next game it’ll be good. But I think it’s good we got it under 10 because here in this tournament all points matter.”
Biles withdraws from gymnastics final to protect team, self
TOKYO (AP) Simone Biles arrived in Tokyo as the star of the U.S. Olympic movement and perhaps the Games themselves. She convinced herself she was prepared for the pressure. That she was ready to carry the burden of outsized expectations.
Only, as the women’s gymnastics team final approached on Tuesday night, something felt off. And the athlete widely considered the Greatest of All Time in her sport knew it.
So rather than push through the doubts that crept into her head as she’s done so many times in the past, Biles decided enough was enough. She was done. For now.
The American star withdrew from the competition following one rotation, opening the door for the team of Russian athletes to win gold for the first time in nearly three decades.
Jordan Chiles, Sunisa Lee and Grace McCallum guided the U.S. to silver while Biles cheered from the sideline in a white sweatsuit, at peace with a decision that revealed a shift not only in Biles but perhaps the sport she’s redefined.
“We also have to focus on ourselves, because at the end of the day we’re human, too,” Biles said. “So, we have to protect our mind and our body, rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do.”
The Americans – fueled by an uneven bars routine by Lee that not even Biles could match – drew within eight-tenths of a point through three rotations. ROC, however, never wavered on floor. And they erupted when 21-year-old Angelina Melnikova’s score assured them of the top spot on the podium for the first time since the Unified Team won in Barcelona in 1992.
The victory came a day after ROC men’s team edged Japan for the top spot in the men’s final. Great Britain edged Italy for bronze.
“The impossible is possible now,” Melnikova said.
Perhaps in more ways than one.
In the five years since Biles and the U.S. put on a dazzling display on their way to gold in Rio de Janeiro, gymnastics has undergone a reckoning. The tectonic plates in a sport where obedience, discipline and silence were long considered as important as talent and artistry are moving.
Biles has become an outspoken advocate for athlete’s rights and the importance of proper mental health. There was a time, there were many times actually, where she felt she wasn’t right and just powered through because that’s what people expected of her.
Not anymore. And the stand she took could resonate far beyond the color of any medal she may win in Tokyo.
Biles is the latest in a series of high-profile athletes, including tennis star Naomi Osaka, who have used their platforms to discuss their mental heath struggles. A subject that was once taboo has become far more accepted and embraced.
U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland applauded Biles for prioritizing her “mental wellness over all else” and offered the organization’s full support. USA Gymnastics women’s program vice-president called Biles’ act “incredibly selfless.”
Biles posted on social media Monday that she felt the weight of the world on her shoulders after an uncharacteristically sloppy showing during qualifying left the Americans looking up at the ROC on the scoreboard.
The tension affected her practice. It affected her confidence. And when she stepped onto the vault runway, it finally found its way to her performance, too.
She was scheduled to do an “Amanar” vault that requires a roundoff back handspring onto the table followed by 2 1/2 twists. Biles instead did just 1 1/2 twists with a big leap forward after landing. She sat down and talked to U.S. team doctor Marcia Faustin, then headed to the back while the rest of the Americans moved on to uneven bars without her.
When Biles returned several minutes later, she hugged her teammates and took off her bar grips. And just like that, her night was over.
“To see her kind of go out like that is very sad because this Olympic Games, I feel like, is kind of hers,” Lee said.
Biles is scheduled to defend her Olympic title in the all-around final on Thursday. She also qualified for all four event finals later in the Games. She said she will regroup on Wednesday before deciding whether to continue.
Biles’ abrupt absence forced the Americans to scramble a bit. The finals are a three-up/three-count format, meaning each country enters three of their four athletes on an apparatus, with all three scores counting.
Chiles stepped in to take Biles’ place on uneven bars and balance beam. The 20-year-old who made the team with her steady consistency pulled off a solid bars routine and drilled her balance beam set two days after falling twice on the event.
Thanks in part to a little help from ROC – which counted a pair of falls on beam – the U.S. drew within striking distance heading to floor, the final rotation.
Without Biles and her otherworldly tumbling, the U.S. needed to be near perfect to close the gap. It didn’t happen. Chiles stumbled to the mat at the end of her second pass, and any chance the U.S. had of chasing down ROC went right along with it.
Not that Chiles or the rest of the Americans particularly cared. The gold might be gone, but something more significant may have happened instead. It’s a tradeoff they can live with.
“This medal is definitely for (Biles),” said Chiles. “If it wasn’t if it wasn’t for her, we wouldn’t be here where we are right now. We wouldn’t be a silver medalist because of who she is as a person.”
Chiles then turned to her good friend. Biles helped convince her to move to Houston to train alongside her two years ago, a decision that turned Chiles into an Olympian. In an empty arena in the middle of Japan with the world watching, Chiles did for Biles what Biles has done for so many for so long. She had her back.
“Kudos to you girl,” Chiles said. “This is all for you.”
2021 INDIANA PACERS DRAFT OUTLOOK
That the Pacers even made it to the Play-In Tournament was a testament to their talent, finishing ninth in spite of significant injuries and a fractious coaching situation under one-and-done Nate Bjorkgren. T.J. Warren, a bubble breakout late last season, lasted four games before a foot injury shut him down. Caris LeVert, acquired in the Victor Oladipo trade, had cancer surgery. Shot blocker Myles Turner missed the final six weeks with an injured toe. Malcolm Brogdon (16) and Domantas Sabonis (10) had double-digit misses too. Bright spots around them such as T.J. McConnell and Doug McDermott will test the free agent market. Hiring Rick Carlisle was a step toward stability and commitment to more proven methods. Now it’s on the players and good health.
A Stat That Matters
36% — 36% of Pacers opponents’ shots, the league’s highest opponent rate by a comfortable margin, came in the restricted area. They allowed a league-high 40.4 points per game in the restricted area.
The Way To Go
This will be Indiana’s highest pick since Turner (No. 11) in 2015 and Paul George (No. 10) in 2010. A case can be made that the Pacers need help everywhere except center as long as Sabonis, Turner and Goga Bitadze remain on the roster and if McConnell and/or McDermott leave. They have plenty of players who want the ball, but a playmaking guard or especially a defensively adept wing would scratch a real itch. And who doesn’t need shooting? Names that have been floated for that No. 13 first-rounder include Baylor guard Davion Mitchell, Australia’s Josh Giddey, Gonzaga’s Corey Kispert, Arkansas’ Moses Moody and Michigan’s Franz Wagner.
G: Malcolm Brogdon
G: Aaron Holiday
G: Caris LeVert
G/F: Jeremy Lamb
F/G: Oshae Brissett
F/G: Justin Holiday
F: Kelan Martin
F: T.J. Warren
F/C: Goga Bitadze
F/C: Domantas Sabonis
C/F: Myles Turner
C: Amida Brimah
G: T.J. McConnell (unrestricted)
G: Cassius Stanley (restricted)
G: Edmond Sumner (team option)
F: Doug McDermott (unrestricted)
F: JaKarr Sampson (unrestricted)
PLAYERS THE PACERS COULD SELECT AT #13
6-1 / 202 lbs
• Davion Mitchell is a dynamic, relentless guard who made huge strides as a shooter and shot creator as a junior to lead Baylor to the program’s first National Championship last season. Widely regarded as a top-60 prospect in the high school class of 2017 after his senior year at Liberty County High School (GA), Mitchell spent one season filling a reserve role at Auburn before transferring to Baylor. Sitting out a year before emerging as a starter as a sophomore, Mitchell helped key Baylor’s rise as one of the best defensive teams in the country. Averaging 14.1 points, 5.5 assists, and 1.9 steals per game last season under coach Scott Drew, he took his game to an entirely different level to earn All-Big XII 1st Team and Defensive Player of the Year honors as the Bears dominated the Final Four.
• Listed at 6-foot-1 with a strong 201-pound frame to go along with an even wingspan, Mitchell may not be especially long, but has a tremendous combination of quickness and physicality for a guard.
• Flashing the ability to get to spots with the ball as an underclassman, Mitchell stepped into a more prominent offensive role as a junior as his improvement as a jump shooter opened up his offensive game. Able to slide off the ball in multi-guard lineups but playing primarily point guard, he shredded opposing defenses with his ability to change speeds and get downhill with or without a ball screen. Shooting the three at a high level all year and doing a much better job using his quickness to make plays for others than he did as a sophomore, Mitchell turned a corner last season to emerge as one of the more dynamic guards in college basketball.
• Mitchell proved to be a stifling defender as well. With the quickness to pressure opposing ball handlers into mistakes, the toughness to defend bigger guards, an urgency closing out shooters, and a knack for getting a hand on the ball, Mitchell took over several big games for the Bears with his ability to make an impact on both ends.
• After playing off the ball quite a bit as a sophomore, Mitchell took on a more substantial shot creating burden as a junior with over half of his possessions coming in isolation or ball screen situations. A shifty ball handler whose ability to stop and start with the ball and sharp footwork allowed him to create separation at will, he averaged a massively improved 1.14 points per pull-up jump shot in the half court [95th percentile] as he showed the ability to stop and pop with a consistency he lacked early in his career.
• Using the threat of his jumper to get downhill, Mitchell drove and moved the ball with purpose last season scoring 1.26 points per shot around the rim in the half court [72nd percentile] and emerging as a prolific drive and kick threat. Able to play above the rim in space, Mitchell’s size still worked against him in spots and he has room to improve his floater, but his ability to attack the rim and make quick reads was crucial to Baylor’s strong play on the offensive end.
• Doing an excellent job sparking the break, Mitchell’s unselfishness and ability to use his speed to simplify the game for others stood out in the open floor as he ranked among the most efficient transition threats in the country while generating as many assists as he attempted shots pushing the break.
• Making an effort to run the wings in transition and scoring 1.31 points per catch and shoot jump shot [91st percentile], Mitchell did not need the ball in his hands to contribute last season and showed the versatility to score efficiently alongside a ball-dominant guard.
• He still has some room to improve as a free throw shooter despite his otherwise impressive consistency away from the rim.
• Mitchell is a mature defensive player with an impressive combination of quickness, intensity, and toughness. He allowed 0.77 points per isolation possession [45th percentile] last season while often guarding the opposing team’s best perimeter scorer regardless of position. Doing a terrific job beating opposing ball handlers to spots, he proved adept at drawing charges or getting a hand on the ball .
• An attentive off-ball defender with a nose for the ball and a competitive streak, Mitchell may not be overly long, but has more versatility than most players his size and figures to have a chance to hold his own on the defensive end early in his career.
6-8 / 200 lbs
About Josh Giddey
• Josh Giddey is a young point-forward with tremendous instincts as a passer coming off an impressive rookie year with the Adelaide 36ers in the Australian NBL. The Melbourne native emerged as a prospect in his mid-teens earning a call to the NBA Global Academy, showing well at the Basketball Without Borders Global Camp, participating in the NBA Academy Games, and making his Australian National Team debut before joining the 36ers through the NBL Next Stars program ahead of the 2020-21 season. Averaging 10.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 7.6 assists per-game under Adelaide Head Coach and former NBA guard Conner Henry, Giddey had a breakout year as a rookie.
• Listed at 6’8 with a 200-pound frame to go along with an even wingspan, Giddey is not especially long or explosive and has room to get stronger but has tremendous size for a primary ball handler.
• An instinctual player with excellent vision, Giddey led the NBL in assists per game despite ranking among its youngest players. Displaying an advanced feel for facilitating out ball screens, making creative plays in the open floor, and scoring opportunistically around the rim, Giddey’s pace, craftiness, and unselfish approach shined in the NBL. He still has significant room to improve as a jump shooter to help keep defenders honest, but has some unique tools as a playmaker for a prospect his age.
• Ranking in the top-5 in the NBL in rebounds and displaying good timing getting in the passing lanes, Giddey’s strong feel for the game translated to the defensive end as well, but his ability to become more physical could be key to his ability to hold his own at the next level.
• Applying his talent as a passer prolifically as a rookie, Giddey generated almost twice as many points with his passes out of pick and rolls than he scored himself. He posted an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.9 in the half court, and showed the ability to dart long pin-point passes to the open man reading defenders on the move. The 18-year-old guard displayed unique court vision for a lead guard, let alone a teenager playing at a high level for the first time.
• Manipulating defenders playing with pace, Giddey is far more crafty than he is explosive getting to spots off the dribble. With almost half of his attempts coming around the rim, he averaged 1.32 points per finishing opportunity inside [74th percentile] and 0.75 points per floater [45th percentile] as he did a solid job picking and choosing his spots inside, possesses soft touch with both hands, and showed some ability to use his size to his advantage spinning off smaller defenders. While he did not draw many fouls attacking the rim, he was quite opportunistic in close.
• Giddey’s ability to maximize his passing ability and craftiness off the dribble is rooted in his jump shooting ability. Averaging 0.82 points per jump shot in the half court [32nd percentile], he has some things to clean up mechanically to keep opposing teams honest in ball screen coverages.
• Ranked 2nd in the NBL in points created per game by passes out of the pick and roll (9.4 points per game)
• Making use of his size and instincts on the glass, Giddey finished the year ranked among most productive rebounding guards in NBL history. Making some plays in the passing lanes, his anticipation skills translated off the ball as well.
• Giving up physicality in some matchups and lacking a degree of length, Giddey has room to grow as an individual defender to ease his transition to the next level.
6-7 / 223 lbs
About Corey Kispert
• Corey Kispert is a mature swingman with a reliable shooting stroke who improved steadily over his four year career at Gonzaga which culminated with one of the most efficient individual offensive seasons in college basketball history and a National Championship appearance. Widely regarded as a top-100 prospect in the high school class of 2017 following his senior season at King’s High School (WA), Kispert emerged as a contributor for the Bulldogs as a true freshman. Averaging 8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game as a sophomore in his first season as a full-time starter under Head Coach Mark Few, he solidified as a valuable two-way contributor alongside Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke. Making massive strides over his last two seasons in Spokane, Kispert averaged 18.6 points, 5 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game while shooting 44% from beyond the arc as a senior to earn WCC Player of the Year and Consensus All-American 1st Team honors.
• Listed at 6’7 with a solid 223-pound frame and average length, Kispert is a capable athlete who can catch lobs pretty impressively but is more strong than quick defensively.
• Establishing himself as one of the best shooters and most polished all-around players in college basketball last season, Kispert filled a prominent role for a talented Bulldogs team. Showing a tremendous feel for relocating off the ball, sprinting to the arc in transition, and running off screens, Kispert did much of his damage in catch and shoot situations, but also showed the ability to finish strong inside, put the ball on the floor a bit looking to create, drain pull-ups, and keep opposing defenses in rotation. His maturity was apparent and a key part of Gonzaga’s early season dominance.
• A competitive defender with no shortage of big-game experience and the physicality to put a body on bigger forwards, Kispert held his own at both forward spots last season even if he was not always able to effect shooters rotating off the ball.
• Ranking among the top shooters in college basketball, over half of Kispert’s shot attempts were catch and shoot jump shots last season. Proving to be a very reliable perimeter threat overall while running especially hot on several notable occasions, Kispert scored 1.21 points per catch and shoot jump shot in the half court [81st percentile]. He was tremendously consistent spotting up in space as his compact shooting motion seldom waivered when he did not have a hand in his face.
• Shooting the ball at a high-level in limited attempts off the dribble, Kispert found shots in a variety of ways on the perimeter displaying a strong feel for moving off the ball and the ability to stop and pop with range against sagging defenders in limited opportunities handling the ball.
• While he forced little off the dribble and is not an especially dynamic ball handler, Kispert’s timing as a cutter and ability to take the ball strong to the rim when he could get downhill helped him average 1.32 points per shot around the rim in the half court [80th percentile]. Bouncier than one might expect with a head of steam and adept at picking and choosing his spots, Kispert proved to be more than just a shooter.
• His opportunistic style translated particularly well in the open floor as he averaged a historically efficient 1.55 points per transition possession [97th percentile].
• Checking some other boxes keeping the ball moving consistently and even making some reads out of ball screens , Kispert has obvious roleplayer potential.
• Ranked 1st in the NCAA and 1st in the WCC in offensive efficiency (1.24 points per possession)
• Ranked 1st in the WCC in transition scoring (5.4 points per game)
• Ranked 1st in the WCC in spot up scoring (5.5 points per game)
• Ranked 3rd in the WCC in off screen scoring (1.5 points per game)
• Kispert is a steady, experienced defender with a good motor and whose physicality outweighed his lack of length at the collegiate level. Allowing 0.72 points per isolation possession [51st percentile], he held his own on the ball in many matchups but gave up quickness to more dynamic shot creators and could not always effect shooters when looking to contest on the perimeter.
• Making an effort to use verticality contesting inside and box out bigger forwards, Kispert did some little things and was seldom out of place on the defensive end as a senior.
6-5 / 211 lbs
About Moses Moody
• Moses Moody is a developing shot-maker with prototypical physical tools for an NBA shooting guard who exceeded expectations as a freshman serving as the first option of an Arkansas team that made it to the Elite Eight. Widely regarded as one of the top-40 prospects in the high school class of 2020 following his senior year at Montverde Academy (FL), the Little Rock native returned to Arkansas to play in Head Coach Eric Musselman’s fast-paced offense. Averaging 16.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game to earn All-SEC 1st Team and Freshman of the Year honors, Moody played a key role in the Razorbacks’ surge in the second half of SEC play.
• Listed at 6’6 with an improving 205-pound frame to go along with a 7’1 wingspan, Moody has terrific dimensions for a wing and is a capable athlete, even if he has room to get stronger.
• Playing primarily off the ball for the Razorbacks, Moody did much of his damage away from the rim as a freshman. Showing significant improvement as a three-point shooter, flashing the ability to rise and fire running off screens, and knocking down midrange shots at a solid rate, Moody contributed from the perimeter scoring in a variety of ways. Doing a nice job drawing fouls when attacking the rim, at his best last season, the 18-year-old guard was an efficient three-level scorer.
• Possessing tremendous length for his size, Moody defended multiple positions last season as Arkansas often played multiple guards. Getting low, sliding his feet, and contesting impressively some possessions, Moody is a willing defender and rebounder who has room to become more solid off the ball.
• A smooth shooter with improved mechanics, Moody did much of his damage off the ball in Arkansas’s motion sets. Nearly half of his shots in the half court were catch and shoot jumpers which he converted for 1.08 points per set shot in the half court [63rd percentile]. Taking and making some contested shots spotting up, running to the three-point line in transition, and moving off screens, Moody was a bit streaky from the deep, but proved to be a potent perimeter threat when he could find his range.
• More than just a floor spacer, Moody was fairly aggressive looking to attack closeouts. Regularly stepping into one-dribble jumpers in the midrange, he averaged 0.82 points per pull-up jump shot in the half court [58th percentile] displaying nice touch from 15-feet and getting into his shot fluidly. As effective as he was as a shot-maker some nights, he has room to pick and choose his spots a bit more consistently.
• Moody is not a particularly prolific slasher or polished ball handler, but was able to take what defenses gave him around the rim both on and off the ball. He can play above the rim in space, did a nice job sneaking in on the glass, and embraced contact inside averaging 1.10 points per finishing opportunity in the half court [45th percentile]. When he was able to get downhill, he did a nice job finding contact, but could see the easy play more frequently on the move.
• Ranked 4th in the SEC in put back scoring (2.2 points per game)
• Ranked 5th in the SEC in off screen scoring (1.8 points per game)
• Possessing terrific length for a wing, Moody held his own defensively as a freshman. Allowing 0.79 points per one-on-one possession [42nd percentile], he fared pretty well on the ball often getting low, trying to play angels on the perimeter, and even putting a body on bigger forwards in the post.
• Moody also had some positive moment closing out shooters, even if he is still learning how to make rotations consistently. His length was often a plus when contesting shots on the perimeter and around the rim.
6-9 / 220 lbs
About Franz Wagner
• Franz Wagner is a big wing with a versatile game whose improvement as a sophomores helped lift Michigan to an Elite Eight appearance. Born in Germany, Wagner emerged from the shadow of his older brother, NBA veteran Moritz Wagner, early in his career as he solidified himself as one of the best prospects in Germany in his own right in his mid-teens. Playing primarily at the junior for ALBA Berlin early in his career, Wagner broke through at the senior level during 2018-19 season when he carved out a steady role in the EuroCup and German BBL. Gaining valuable experience and earning BBL Best German Young Player honors, Wagner rode that momentum into a strong showing at the 2019 FIBA U18 European Championship before following in his brother’s footsteps at Michigan. Emerging as a valuable piece on a veteran team as an 18-year-old freshman, Wagner showed significant growth under Head Coach Juwan Howard averaging 12.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3 assists per game to earn All-Big Ten 2nd Team honors in a more demanding role as a sophomore.
• Listed at 6’9 with a noticeably improved 220-pound frame and solid length, Wagner is a fluid athlete with very good size and instincts for a wing who is younger than many of this draft’s one-and-done prospects.
• Playing almost exclusively off the ball as a freshman, Wagner was able to show his versatility as a sophomore still serving as a key floor spacer, but also getting some opportunities to handle the ball in the pick and roll, push the break, and take smaller wings in the post. A competitive player with a solid feel for the game, he flashed intriguing roleplayer potential while seeing minutes at both forward spots. Showing the ability to make sound decisions off the bounce and a good activity level playing off the ball, Wagner contributed in a variety of ways offensively and proved especially productive when he could find his range early in games.
• An active defender with significant experience at the professional level already, Wagner did a lot of little things on that end of the floor for the Wolverines last season getting in the passing lanes with good timing and making an effort to help protect the rim and rebound. He made major strides with his frame as a sophomore that helped him play a more physical brand of defense and still looks like he has room to get stronger which could afford him some opportunity to slide between the forward spots.
• A capable all-around offensive player, Wagner did much of his damage spacing the floor at the college level with a third of his possessions coming in spot up situations. Making some strides as a set shooter as a sophomore averaging 1.02 points per catch and shoot jump shot in the half court [54th percentile], doing a terrific job attacking closeouts with long strides, and able to make reads as a passer on the move, Wagner had some very strong stretches for the Wolverines. He was somewhat streaky from beyond the arc, but looked more fluid with his release both off the catch and off the dribble than he did as a freshman and shows a consistency at the foul line that leaves room for optimism about his potential as a shooter.
• An instinctive player off the ball who likes to attack the rim, Wagner scored 1.18 points per possession in transition [76th percentile] and 1.11 points per shot around the rim in the half court [47th percentile]. He is not overwhelmingly quick or physical off the bounce to turn the corner at will, but is comfortable attacking gaps, takes care of the ball, and can play above the rim with a head of steam.
• Making the easy play passing on the move and relocating well off the ball, Wagner’s ability to do a little bit of everything helped him earn minutes as a teenager with ALBA and made him a cog for what looked like one of the best teams in the country for long stretches of last season.
• Wagner is a diligent defender with a strong grasp of the fundamentals both on and off the ball. Making an effort to rotate, box out, fight around screens, and get a hand up on shooters, he was very solid last season.
• Though Wagner gave up quickness and strength in some high-end matchups, he showed good instincts getting in the passing lanes and using verticality around the rim as a team defender.
Capitals re-sign Alex Ovechkin to $47.5M, 5-year contract
(AP) — Alex Ovechkin broke the news that he’s staying with the Washington Capitals in true Ovi fashion with five exclamation points.
Five more years and a chance to chase Wayne Gretzky’s NHL goal-scoring record.
Ovechkin re-signed Tuesday with the only NHL team he has ever played for, inking a $47.5 million, five-year deal. The superstar Russian winger who captained the Capitals to their only Stanley Cup championship in franchise history is now under contract through the 2025-26 season.
“I’M BACK DC !!!!!” Ovechkin tweeted with a picture of him holding up the signed contract surrounded by his family.
Ovechkin, who turns 36 in October, ranks fifth on the career goals list, 164 back of Gretzky’s record of 894 that was long considered unbreakable. Ovechkin would need to average almost 33 goals a season to catch Gretzky during this contract, which expires when he’s on the verge of his 41st birthday.
“Alex is the face of our franchise and is committed to this organization and this city,” general manager Brian MacLellan said in a statement. “Alex embodies what our franchise is all about, and we’re thrilled that he will continue his career in the Caps uniform for the next five years.”
Ovechkin signed for one more season than most were expecting, extending him past longtime running mate Nicklas Backstrom’s contract that runs through 2024-25. The salary cap hit of $9.5 million – just below Ovechkin’s annual number during his $124 million, 13-year contract that’s expiring – allows MacLellan to keep a playoff- and Cup-contending core around him.
“Alex is a world-class athlete who will forever be regarded not only for leading the team to achieve our ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup but also for inspiring the next generation of fans and youth players,” owner Ted Leonsis said. “Not only is he committed to the franchise but also to the community, and we look forward to seeing him in the Capitals uniform for years to come.”
Washington selected Ovechkin first overall in 2004, and since he made his debut in 2005, the Moscow native has scored 244 more goals than the next-closest player, Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby. His 1,320 points are second to Crosby, a longtime rival Ovechkin has been connected with since they broke into the league together.
Re-signing Ovechkin was one part of the Capitals’ offseason puzzle. The Capitals held off signing Ovechkin to a new deal until after the Seattle expansion draft so they could protect another player.
After losing goaltender Vitek Vanecek to the expansion Kraken, they unloaded salary Monday night by trading defenseman Brenden Dillon to Winnipeg for 2022 and 2023 second-round picks. They have less than $5 million in cap space and still need to sign restricted free agent goalie Ilya Samsonov to a new contract and add a backup.
Vegas trades Fleury to Chicago as goalie carousel spins
(AP) — Marc-Andre Fleury was traded from Vegas to Chicago on Tuesday, a stunning turn of events that has the NHL’s reigning Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender contemplating his future.
The Golden Knights traded Fleury to the Blackhawks for minor league forward Mikael Hakkarainen in a salary dump. Fleury is set to count $7 million against the cap next season, the final year of his contract.
And that’s if he reports at all. Agent Allan Walsh tweeted, “Marc-Andre will be taking time to discuss his situation with his family and seriously evaluate his hockey future at this time.”
Fleury, 36, did not have Chicago on his 10-team no-trade list but did not want to play for any team other than Vegas. Chicago is certainly hoping to add him as the organization shifts from a rebuild into win-now mode.
“The opportunity to acquire a Vezina-winning goaltender is rare and one you cannot pass up,” Blackhawks president of hockey operations and general manager Stan Bowman said. “Marc-Andre improves our goaltending, strengthens our team defense and will have a huge impact on the overall development of the Blackhawks. Having a goaltender like this on our team will put the talent we currently have on our roster in a better position to achieve sustained success.”
It’s the first time in 20 years the reigning Vezina winner was traded before the next season. Buffalo traded Dominik Hasek to Detroit on the first day of free agency in 2001.
Fleury went 26-10-0 with a 1.98 goals-against average and .928 save percentage last season. He started 16 of the Golden Knights’ 19 playoff games over Robin Lehner, who is signed for four more seasons.
Lehner finished the postseason as the starter after a gaffe by Fleury late in Game 3 of the semifinals altered the series against Montreal and led coach Peter DeBoer to switch back and forth between his two goalies.
The Golden Knights tweeted: “This organization, this city and this fanbase will forever be grateful to Marc-Andre Fleury for the impact he’s made on and off the ice in just four years. We wish Marc-Andre and his family the best in this new chapter of their lives.”
GM Kelly McCrimmon is scheduled to address reporters on a video call later Tuesday.
The Fleury trade was one of several moves around the league, including the Washington Capitals getting captain Alex Ovechkin under contract for five more years, the St. Louis Blues agreeing to terms with winger Pavel Buchnevich and three players going on buyout waivers.
Ovechkin signed for $47.5 million, giving him five seasons to chase down Wayne Gretzky’s career goals record. There was no real doubt about Ovechkin returning – just the question of how much and for how long.
The Blues were confident they’d be able to get a deal done with Buchnevich after acquiring him from the New York Rangers last week for forward Sammy Blais and a 2022 second-round pick. It’s a $23.4 million, four-year deal that carries an annual cap hit of $5.8 million.
Vancouver put Braden Holtby and San Jose put Martin Jones on unconditional waivers for the purposes of buying out the remainder of the goalies’ contracts. Holtby struggled last season with the Canucks but is only three years removed from winning the Cup with Washington.
Jones backstopped the Sharks to the 2017 Cup Final but has had a sub-.900 save percentage each of the past three seasons and was signed for three more at a cap hit of $5.75 million.
“We knew change was needed,” GM Doug Wilson said. “This was not a decision we made lightly. It’s never enjoyable to part with someone that, to me, has been such a big part of our franchise for the past six years.”
In other goalie news, a person with direct knowledge of talks between the Buffalo Sabres and Linus Ullmark said negotiations are continuing with the hopes of reaching a deal by Wednesday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the discussions are private.
Veteran defenseman Keith Yandle is signing a $900,000, one-year deal with the Philadelphia Flyers that includes a no-trade clause, according to a person with knowledge of the move who spoke to The AP on condition of anonymity because the contract cannot be signed until noon EDT Wednesday.
The Colorado Avalanche gave up a 2023 fourth-round draft pick to acquire Kurtis McDermid in a trade with Seattle a week after the Kraken selected the 27-year-old defenseman from Los Angeles in the expansion draft.
Listed at 6-foot-5 and 233 pounds, McDermid had two goals and four points in 28 games, and led Kings defensemen in averaging 7.38 hits per game last season. He has six goals and 17 points in 118 career games split over four seasons with the Kings.
Grubauer, Hamilton among top names entering NHL free agency
(AP) — The stars available at the top end of the NHL free agent market should make things interesting Wednesday afternoon.
And scratch Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog off the list, after the Avalanche captain signed an eight-year, $56 million contract late Tuesday night.
That left Colorado goaltender Philipp Grubauer and Carolina defenseman Dougie Hamilton as the top unsigned prizes capable of stirring up bidding wars if the other 31 teams can start negotiating with them once the free agency period opens.
Elsewhere, two-time Stanley Cup champion Blake Coleman is a lock to leave the Tampa Bay Lightning, and there will be no shortage of suitors interested in a gritty forward who can help get a contender over the hump.
Meanwhile, the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers and expansion Seattle Kraken are among the teams that could be active with more than $20 million in salary cap space. And the Vegas Golden Knights could go big-name shopping after clearing space by trading Marc-Andre Fleury to Chicago.
“We’ll use our resources to work to make the team as strong and competitive as possible,” Vegas general manager Kelly McCrimmon said. “There’s never any guarantees you’re going to be able to do the things you might like to do. There’s a lot of factors at play, obviously, when you get to free agency.”
A handful of free agents already have deals in place.
Zach Hyman got permission from Toronto to speak to other teams when the Maple Leafs knew they couldn’t afford to replace him, and he’s expected to sign long term with the Edmonton Oilers. Veteran defenseman Keith Yandle was free to talk to other teams as soon as he was bought out by Florida and has an agreement in place with Philadelphia on a $900,000 contract for next season.
Other players who were bought out, including defenseman Ryan Suter and forward Zach Parise whose stints in Minnesota are over after next season, could find homes very quickly after noon EDT. Former New York Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo is also in that camp and has been linked to Carolina.
The 28-year-old Landeskog was re-signed shortly before midnight EDT, when both sides faced an NHL deadline allowing players to sign eight-year contracts. Any deals struck afterward are capped at seven years.
Landeskog represents a key piece to a team coming off a President’s Trophy-winning season, before being eliminated in six games by Vegas in the West Division final. He finished second on the team with 20 goals – his eighth 20-goal season in nine years – and his 218 career goals rank sixth on the team list, and third since the Avalanche relocated to Colorado in 1995.
“We are thrilled to have our captain signed to a long-term deal,” said Avalanche GM Joe Sakic. “Gabe is the heart and soul of this team and an integral part of our organization both on the ice and in the community.”
The players whose contracts expire Wednesday will be part of a talking and signing frenzy, since the league and NHLPA eliminated the negotiation period for free agents.
“You might have a bit of a feel of where you stood with respect to a certain player,” McCrimmon said. “Now it opens with a starter’s pistol on Wednesday, so it’s a little harder to predict.”
One prediction that’s easy to make is a flurry of goaltender movement. Beyond Grubauer, former starters Petr Mrazek and James Reimer from Carolina and Frederik Andersen from Toronto are expected to be available.
Braden Holtby, the 2016 Vezina Trophy winner who backstopped Washington to the Stanley Cup in 2018, should attract interest despite being bought out by Vancouver following a down season. Same goes for Martin Jones, who struggled the past three seasons before San Jose bought him out Tuesday.
Sharks GM Doug Wilson is now looking for a replacement and should not have much trouble on that front.
“We need one more guy that I think is a quality veteran that is a stabilizer — you know what you’re going to get,” Wilson said. “There’s a few of them out there, and we’ll be exploring that.”
The play-in tournament officially returning to NBA in 2022
(AP) — The NBA’s play-in tournament is back for at least one more season.
As expected, the league’s board of governors gave approval Tuesday to the plan that would bring back the event in April 2022. The format will be the same as it was this past season: the teams that finish seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th in each conference will play to determine the No. 7 and No. 8 playoff seeds.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had said on multiple occasions in recent weeks that he expected the play-in to return. It was utilized this past season for the first time on an experimental basis.
In other board of governors news Tuesday:
The play-in tournament being back crystallizes the schedule for next season. It was already known that training camps would open Sept. 28 and the regular season on Oct. 19. With the play-in, that now means the regular season ends April 10, 2022.
The play-in tournament will be April 12-15, the playoffs will begin April 16, and the 2022 NBA Finals are scheduled to begin June 2 – back in their customary spot for the first time since 2019.
The latest possible date for Game 7 of the NBA Finals would be June 19, and the 2022 NBA Draft is slated for June 23.
Teams have been working under the assumption of that schedule for several weeks.
Two-way players will receive half of the minimum salary next season, or roughly $463,000. They will be permitted to be active for 50 games next season.
Teams can have 15 players active for each game next season, with no more than 17 under contract.
TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY
1890 Giants hurler Mickey Welch joins Pud Galvin and Tim Keefe in becoming baseball’s third hurler to record his 300th victory. After today’s 4-2 victory over Pittsburgh, the 31 year-old Brooklyn native will win only seven more games before ending his 13-year career next season.
1943 In a Red Cross charity game, Babe Ruth leads a Yank-Lands club, a combination of former Yankees and Indians, against the Cloudbusters, a U.S. Navy team from the Chapel Hill Naval Pre-Flight School based at the University of North Carolina. ‘The Bambino,’ appearing as a pinch-hitter in his only plate appearance in the 8-5 loss to the servicemen at Yankee Stadium, is walked by 25 year-old Navy pilot trainee and Boston Braves right-hander Johnny Sain.
1952 The seventh-place Reds fire manager Luke Sewell, who will be replaced by the recently released skipper of the Browns, Rogers Hornsby. While the ‘Rajah’ takes a week to look over the Cincinnati farm system, coach Earle Brucker will take over the team on an interim basis.
1962 After mysteriously disappearing to use the restroom with Gene Conley when the Red Sox bus got stuck in New York traffic two days ago, infielder Pumpsie Green shows up in the team’s hotel in Washington D.C., having missed a doubleheader loss to the Senators. The prodigal infielder is fined $500 for his disappearance, while his teammate, who will return on June 30th, remains AWOL.
1963 Dick Ellsworth strikes out Cardinals’ left fielder Stan Musial three times in the Cubs’ 5-1 victory at Wrigley Field. It will be the only time ‘Stan the Man’ is whiffed three times in a game during his 22-year career, a span of 3026 contests.
1964 During a 3-1 victory over the Yankees in New York, Jim Fregosi of the expansion Angels becomes the first player to hit for the cycle during the 3+ years of existence of the franchise. The Los Angeles shortstop will accomplish the feat again in 1968, making it the second occurrence in club history.
1967 The Indians break a five-game losing streak when Tony Horton hits a walk-off homer leading off the bottom of the 12th inning. The first baseman’s round-tripper breaks up a scoreless pitching duel between Steve Hargan and Orioles’ right-hander Moe Drabowsky, who allows only six hits in the extra-inning contest at Cleveland Stadium.
1970 Angels’ catcher Tom Egan has a tough day when he allows five passed balls. The California backstop to make matters worse also commits an error, allowing the winning run to score in a 6-5 loss to the Yankees.
1971 Orioles’ third baseman Brooks Robinson, a sixteen-time Gold Glove winner, commits three errors. Thanks to Frank Robinson’s ninth-inning three-run walk-off home run off Rollie Fingers, the Orioles prevail and beat the A’s, 3-2.
1976 White Sox pitchers John ‘Blue Moon’ Odom (5 innings) and Francisco Barrios (4 innings) combined to no-hit the A’s, 2-1. The win will be the Chicago starter’s last of his 84 victories in the major leagues.
1978 At Candlestick Park, the Giants beat the Cubs 9-8 in a game that began at Wrigley Field. The Chicago contest, interrupted three times by rain, was suspended with a man on first and two out in the top of the eighth inning because of darkness.
1979 Cubs’ slugger Dave Kingman, who hit a pair of round-trippers yesterday, becomes the sixth player in major league history to hit three home runs in one game twice in a season. ”Sky King’s’ trio of long flies isn’t enough when Chicago drops the Shea Stadium contest to the Mets, 6-4.
1983 American League president Lee MacPhail upholds the Royals’ protest, ruling George Brett’s ‘Pine Tar’ home run should count. The game continues on August 18th, resuming from the point the third baseman’s controversial round-tripper, with the Royals beating the Yankees, 5-4.
1985 The Hall of Fame welcomes new inductees Lou Brock, Enos Slaughter, Arky Vaughan, and Hoyt Wilhelm. Wilhelm is the first pitcher to be inducted because of his role as a relief pitcher.
1985 Darrell Evans’s home run, a sixth-inning solo blast off Ken Schrom, proves to be the difference when the Tigers beat Minnesota at the Metrodome, 3-2. The Detroit third baseman’s 300th career round-tripper comes on a 3-0 pitch at exactly 3:00 pm.
1990 At Candlestick Park, Giants’ hurler Scott Garrelts is perfect, putting away the first 26 Reds batter he faces. Paul O’Neill’s two-out single to shallow center field in the ninth inning breaks up the no-hitter, and the right-hander ends up with a one-hit 4-0 blanking of Cincinnati.
1991 Expos right-hander Dennis Martinez pitches a perfect game, defeating Los Angeles 2-0 at Dodger Stadium. Ron Hassey becomes the first backstop to ever catch two perfect games, as he also was behind the plate on May 15, 1981 when Indian hurler Len Barker faced 27 batters, beating the Blue Jays, 3-0.
1993 Facing Willie Banks in a 5-1 loss to the Twins at the Kingdome, Mariner Ken Griffey Jr. homers in his eighth straight game to tie a major league record held by Dale Long (1956) and Don Mattingly (1987). In tomorrow’s game, Junior barely misses breaking the record when he hits a long double off the right-center field wall at the Kingdome.
1993 “That wasn’t even a big monkey that was on my back. It was a zoo. The guys treated it like I had won a World Series game for them.” – Anthony Young, commenting on his teammates’ reaction to the end of his 27-game losing streak.
After a shaky one-inning relief performance, in which he gives up the go-ahead run, Anthony Young’s record-setting 27-game losing streak comes to an abrupt end when the Mets score twice in the ninth for a 5-4 walk-off victory over Florida at Shea Stadium. The infamous streak, which covered a span of 81 appearances over two seasons, included 14 losses as a starter and 13 as a reliever.
1994 Kenny Rogers hurls the 12th perfect game in modern major league history and becomes the first American League left-hander to accomplish the feat when he beats the Angels, 4-0. The Rangers’ southpaw throws the fifth no-hitter in franchise history, being the first to do it perfectly.
1995 The Yankees trade Danny Tartabull to the A’s for Jason Beverlin and Ruben Sierra. Tartabull signed a lucrative free-agent deal worth more than $5 million a year with New York after the 1991 season, never producing offensively on the level he had playing with Kansas City.
1995 The Yankees obtain David Cone from the Blue Jays in exchange for Marty Janzen and two minor leaguers, Jason Jarvis and Mike Gordon. The trade for the right-hander, considered one of the best deals in franchise history, will prove to be an essential piece of the team’s success in the late nineties.
1996 Darryl Strawberry’s 300th career round-tripper is a dramatic ninth inning, two-run dinger which gives the Yankees a come-from-behind 3-2 win over the Royals. The 34 year-old ‘Straw’ will finish his stormy 17-year major league career with 335, hitting 75% of his round-trippers as a member of New York’s other team, the Mets.
1998 After setting the record yesterday for hitting the most home runs before getting a grand slam, Sammy Sosa hits another today in the Cubs’ 7-5 loss to Arizona at Bank One Ballpark. The Chicago slugger becomes the 18th major leaguer to hit a bases-loaded homer on consecutive days.
2000 Unable to win in four months, David Cone is sent to the team’s minor league camp in Tampa by Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. The struggling veteran will be under the supervision of Billy Connors, the Yankees vice president of player personnel.
2000 The Mets have a busy day on the trading block as they obtain Oriole shortstop Mike Bordick for utility players Melvin Mora and Mike Kinkade and minor pitchers Lesli Brea and Pat Gorman. A few hours later, New York completes a four-player deal with the Devil Rays, receiving reliever Rick White and outfielder Bubba Trammell in exchange for minor leaguers Jason Tyner and Paul Wilson.
2001 Oriole outfielder Melvin Mora’s wife, Gisel, gives birth to quintuplets. The three boys and two girls, who all weighed in under two and a half pounds, are doing well.
2001 With two outs in the ninth inning at PNC Park, Brian Giles erases a three-run deficit with a walk-off grand slam, defeating an astounded Astros squad, 9-8. Houston’s All-Star closer Billy Wagner gives up the Pittsburgh left fielder’s ‘sayonara slam.’
2002 During his induction speech at the Hall of Fame ceremonies in Cooperstown, with the song ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ playing in the background and with a copy of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ in his hands, Ozzie Smith compares his baseball career to Dorothy’s away trip from Kansas. The 47 year-old, citing the recipe for his success during his 19-year career with the Cardinals and Padres, tells the crowd he had the mind to dream, which the Scarecrow cherished, a heart to believe, which the Tin Man wanted, and courage to persevere, which the Lion lacked.
2002 The Giants trade two minor league pitchers, right-hander Felix Diaz and left-hander Ryan Meaux, to obtain veteran center fielder Kenny Lofton from the White Sox. The 35 year-old outfielder will finish the season with the second-place club, hitting .267 in 46 games before signing as a free agent with the Pirates.
2002 In a 7-1 loss to the Phillies at Turner Field, Gary Sheffield’s team record of reaching base ends at 52 straight games. The Braves’ right fielder surpasses Dale Murphy’s previous mark of 48 consecutive contests.
2004 Troy Percival strikes out Alfonso Soriano and gets Mark Teixeira to ground out to nail down a 2-0 Angels victory over Texas in Anaheim. The 34 year-old right-hander becomes the 18th major league closer to record 300 career saves and the fifth-fastest to reach the milestone.
2005 At Whataburger Field, a trio of Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers-AA) pitchers hurls nine perfect innings to beat the hometown Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros-AA), 3-0. A.J. Murray (6), Steve Karsay (2), and Scott Feldman (1) combine to throw only the third nine-inning perfect game, the first by a combination of hurlers, in the 117-year history of the Texas League.
2006 The Brewers have a busy day wheeling and dealing as the team sends All-Star left-fielder Carlos Lee and a minor league outfielder to Texas and acquire third baseman David Bell from the Phillies in separate deals. The Brew Crew gets reliever Francisco Cordero, fly chasers Kevin Mench and Laynce Nix, and a minor league southpaw from the Rangers, and trade Class A right-hander Wilfrido Laureano to the Philadelphia for their new infielder.
2006 In an 8-7 loss to the Diamondbacks at Minute Maid Park, Luke Scott becomes the first rookie and sixth player in franchise history to hit for the cycle. The Houston 28 year-old right-fielder, who had a three-run homer in the fourth, a fifth-inning triple, and a double in the seventh inning, completes the rare feat with a two-out single in the 11th inning.
2007 With the help of two day-night doubleheaders, MLB establishes a new daily attendance record as 717,478 go through the turnstiles for the 17 games played on Saturday. The former mark of 640,412, set on July 3, 1999, was accomplished with the same number of games played.
2011 The Mets acquire 21 year-old right-hander Zack Wheeler, a top minor league prospect from the Giants, in exchange for outfielder Carlos Beltran and cash considerations. New York bids farewell to their All-Star outfielder, batting .289, with 15 home runs and 66 RBIs in the final season of his seven-year deal with the team.
2011 With their 10-9 victory, the visiting Mets complete a four-game sweep in Cincinnati for the first time in franchise history. The Great American Ball Park victory is especially rewarding because Carlos Beltran, the team’s best offensive player, was traded to San Francisco during the series.
2012 Ike Davis drives in all of the runs in the Mets’ 6-3 loss in Arizona when he becomes the ninth player in franchise history to hit three home runs in a game. The New York first baseman joins Steve Finley (2004, Diamondbacks), Eddie Murray (1980, Orioles), and Clyde McCullough (1942, Cubs) as only the fourth player in baseball history to account for all three of his team’s runs with solo homers in a defeat.
2013 After being elected by the Pre-Integration Veterans Committee in December, the induction of Yankee owner Jacob Ruppert, 19th-century backstop Deacon White, and umpire Hank O’Day marks the first time the Hall of Fame ceremony doesn’t include a living selection. The last time there weren’t any inductees alive to be honored occurred in 1968, with the enshrinement of Pud Galvin, the game’s first 300-game winner, 63 years after his death.
2017 In his second appearance with the independent San Rafael Pacifics, 37 year-old southpaw Lou Evans sings the Star-Spangled Banner, becoming the first starting pitcher in professional baseball to perform the National Anthem before taking the mound. The 2001 Marlins’ nineteenth-round draft pick will retire after the game, ending his comeback from a 12-year hiatus due to injuries.
|Boston||62||39||.614||–||32 – 20||30 – 19||28 – 13||12 – 6||11 – 16||7 – 3||W 2|
|Tampa Bay||60||41||.594||2||30 – 19||30 – 22||26 – 16||11 – 5||13 – 15||6 – 4||L 2|
|NY Yankees||52||47||.525||9||27 – 23||25 – 24||21 – 28||13 – 6||12 – 7||6 – 4||W 1|
|Toronto||49||47||.510||10.5||22 – 22||27 – 25||21 – 25||4 – 6||10 – 12||5 – 5||L 2|
|Baltimore||34||65||.343||27||16 – 31||18 – 34||12 – 26||6 – 17||11 – 14||6 – 4||L 1|
|Chi White Sox||60||41||.594||–||35 – 17||25 – 24||13 – 7||33 – 18||9 – 11||5 – 5||W 1|
|Cleveland||49||49||.500||9.5||25 – 23||24 – 26||8 – 13||26 – 16||8 – 12||4 – 6||L 1|
|Detroit||48||55||.466||13||28 – 22||20 – 33||4 – 5||22 – 34||17 – 11||6 – 4||W 1|
|Kansas City||43||56||.434||16||26 – 25||17 – 31||9 – 14||21 – 28||5 – 11||7 – 3||L 1|
|Minnesota||43||59||.422||17.5||24 – 29||19 – 30||6 – 7||23 – 29||10 – 19||4 – 6||L 1|
|Houston||62||40||.608||–||34 – 20||28 – 20||16 – 12||15 – 9||29 – 14||6 – 4||W 1|
|Oakland||56||46||.549||6||30 – 24||26 – 22||13 – 13||13 – 4||22 – 23||4 – 6||L 4|
|Seattle||55||47||.539||7||33 – 22||22 – 25||13 – 8||12 – 13||25 – 17||6 – 4||L 1|
|LA Angels||50||50||.500||11||28 – 23||22 – 27||11 – 11||16 – 8||16 – 26||5 – 5||L 1|
|Texas||36||65||.356||25.5||23 – 25||13 – 40||11 – 13||8 – 15||14 – 26||1 – 9||W 1|
|NY Mets||53||46||.535||–||31 – 17||22 – 29||20 – 20||12 – 12||14 – 6||6 – 4||L 1|
|Philadelphia||50||50||.500||3.5||30 – 20||20 – 30||26 – 26||12 – 6||6 – 9||5 – 5||L 1|
|Atlanta||50||51||.495||4||26 – 25||24 – 26||27 – 26||16 – 9||4 – 4||5 – 5||W 1|
|Washington||46||54||.460||7.5||27 – 25||19 – 29||20 – 18||9 – 10||9 – 19||4 – 6||W 1|
|Miami||44||57||.436||10||24 – 23||20 – 34||19 – 22||6 – 13||16 – 12||4 – 6||W 3|
|Milwaukee||59||42||.584||–||29 – 24||30 – 18||8 – 11||28 – 17||19 – 6||6 – 4||W 1|
|Cincinnati||52||49||.515||7||26 – 26||26 – 23||7 – 6||28 – 18||10 – 20||4 – 6||W 1|
|St. Louis||51||50||.505||8||28 – 20||23 – 30||14 – 13||19 – 21||15 – 11||7 – 3||W 2|
|Chi Cubs||50||52||.490||9.5||31 – 19||19 – 33||11 – 14||22 – 25||14 – 9||4 – 6||L 1|
|Pittsburgh||38||62||.380||20.5||21 – 27||17 – 35||10 – 11||11 – 27||9 – 17||4 – 6||L 2|
|San Francisco||63||37||.630||–||32 – 15||31 – 22||13 – 7||14 – 10||27 – 15||5 – 5||W 2|
|LA Dodgers||61||41||.598||3||33 – 18||28 – 23||13 – 7||10 – 10||29 – 18||4 – 6||L 1|
|San Diego||59||44||.573||5.5||34 – 19||25 – 25||11 – 12||16 – 14||23 – 17||6 – 4||W 1|
|Colorado||44||57||.436||19.5||33 – 20||11 – 37||5 – 8||11 – 16||19 – 28||4 – 6||W 1|
|Arizona||31||71||.304||33||19 – 30||12 – 41||8 – 15||12 – 17||11 – 31||5 – 5||L 2|
|Orlando City SC||15||7||4||4||23||19||4||4-2-1||3-2-3||25|
|New York City FC||14||7||2||5||26||15||11||5-1-2||2-1-3||23|
|Inter Miami CF||13||2||3||8||10||23||-13||0-2-5||2-1-3||9|
|Los Angeles FC||15||6||4||5||20||17||3||4-3-1||2-1-4||22|
|Real Salt Lake||14||5||5||4||24||16||8||3-4-2||2-1-2||20|
|Connecticut Sun||14||6||.700||—||8-1||6-5||9-3||6-4||2 W|
|Chicago Sky||10||10||.500||4.0||3-6||7-4||8-4||7-3||2 L|
|New York Liberty||10||11||.476||4.5||5-5||5-6||5-8||4-6||2 L|
|Washington Mystics||8||10||.444||5.0||5-4||3-6||5-6||5-5||1 W|
|Atlanta Dream||6||13||.316||7.5||3-7||3-6||5-6||2-8||4 L|
|Indiana Fever||4||16||.200||10.0||3-8||1-8||4-9||3-7||3 W|